War Hero and Presidential Candidate John McCain Has Died

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the death of Sen. John McCain (all times local):

4 a.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country salutes Sen. John McCain as a “great American patriot and a great supporter of Israel.”

Netanyahu says Sunday he is deeply saddened by McCain’s passing at the age of 81 and will always treasure his friendship.

McCain was a frequent visitor to Israel who backed it in the Senate and strongly opposed the nuclear ambitions and militancy of its archrival Iran.

Netanyahu says McCain’s “support for Israel never wavered. It sprang from his belief in democracy and freedom.”

Other tributes poured in from across the Israeli political spectrum. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called McCain one of Israel’s greatest friends. Yair Lapid, head of the opposition Yesh Atid Party, lauded McCain as “a soldier with integrity in a world of politicians.”

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3 a.m.

Arizona residents are paying respects to the late Sen. John McCain.

Some drove their cars and parked along Interstate 17 on Saturday night as a hearse traveled from McCain’s home near Sedona down to Phoenix.

Molly Anderson and her 12-year-old daughter Ava Burden met up with the procession after it arrived at a mortuary in Phoenix where dozens had gathered. They brought candles to place outside the facility.

Anderson, who is an unaffiliated voter, says she respected how McCain stood up for his own ideas.

“The word that pops into my head the most with him is ‘integrity,’ ” she said.

McCain is expected to be honored in Arizona and in Washington before being laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.

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2 a.m.

A former Vietnamese ambassador to Washington, Nguyen Quoc Cuong, says Sen. John McCain played an important role in normalizing relations between the U.S. and the communist country, where he was held prisoner of war for more than five years.

Coung wrote on his Facebook page that McCain was very proud of the monument erected by Vietnam at the Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi where his fighter jet was shot down and he was taken prisoner. He also recalled that McCain asked the Vietnamese to correct the inscription that identified him as an Air Force instead of a Navy pilot.

Coung wrote, “Each time during his visit to Vietnam, he often took other senators and friends to the monument.”

Coung says there were times when McCain expressed concern that after he and Sen. John Kerry were gone, a new generation of American lawmakers would not fully understand the care with which to promote Vietnam-U.S. relations, and so he made a point to bring young senators with him on his visits to the Southeast Asian nation.

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12:40 a.m.

Sen. John McCain is being remembered for his service in war and in Congress by presidents and lawmakers. The longtime Arizona Republican died Saturday after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

President Donald Trump has offered his “deepest sympathies and respect” to McCain’s family.

The man who defeated McCain for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama, says they shared a fidelity to American ideals. McCain’s opponent for the GOP nomination in 2000, George W. Bush, calls his former political rival a “man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”

McCain is expected to be honored in Arizona and Washington before being buried, likely this coming week, at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland. Bush is among those expected to speak at McCain’s funeral.

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10:30 p.m.

Presidents and lawmakers from both parties are honoring Sen. John McCain’s decades of service to his country in the hours after his death Saturday.

President Donald Trump, who criticized McCain for being taken prisoner during the Vietnam War, says his “deepest sympathies and respect” went out to McCain’s family.

McCain died at his ranch in Arizona after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. On Saturday night, a black hearse accompanied by a police motorcade could be seen driving away from the ranch near Sedona where he spent his final weeks.

Trump’s brief Twitter statement said “hearts and prayers” are with the McCain family. Melania Trump thanked McCain for his service to the nation, which included more than five years as a prisoner of war and six terms in the Senate.

9:15 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama is paying tribute to Arizona Sen. John McCain following the death of his 2008 presidential rival. Obama says despite their differences, they shared a “fidelity to something higher – the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed.”

Obama says in a statement that the two political opponents “saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world.”

Obama writes that they “saw this country as a place where anything is possible – and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.”

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9:10 p.m.

Former President George W. Bush is calling Arizona Sen. John McCain, his one-time political rival, a “man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”

Bush says in a statement that McCain was a “public servant in the finest traditions of our country” and is calling him a “friend whom I’ll deeply miss.”

McCain died Saturday at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.

Bush defeated McCain in a hard fought Republican presidential campaign in 2000 and later backed McCain’s unsuccessful campaign to succeed him eight years later.

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9:08 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has released a statement calling Sen. John McCain a “giant,” an “icon” and an “American hero.”

McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona six times.

Ducey says McCain was an American who will never be forgotten, and he was proud to call him a fellow Arizonan. The Republican governor says McCain’s “spirit, service and fierce independence shaped the state with which he became synonymous.”

Ducey recalled that the senator always fought for what he thought was right, even when it wasn’t popular. He says McCain’s “dogged patriotism and passion for country” made him an inspiration.

The governor added that he hopes McCain’s legacy will continue to inspire Americans to build a future that would make him proud.

8:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump is offering his “deepest sympathies and respect” to the family of Arizona Sen. John McCain following the senator’s death.

The president’s statement comes after the two Republican leaders maintained a strained relationship since Trump suggested in 2015 the Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war was not a war hero.

Trump says on Twitter, “Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, died Saturday at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.

Trump has frequently criticized McCain for voting against a 2017 plan in the Senate to replace the so-called Obamacare law.

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8:50 p.m.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the war hero who became the GOP’s standard-bearer in the 2008 election, has died. He was 81.

His office says McCain died Saturday. He had battled brain cancer.

In 1967, his plane was shot down on a bombing mission over North Vietnam. He was severely injured and spent more than five years as a prisoner of war.

He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and the Senate in 1986. A conservative on most issues, he pushed for campaign finance reform and the effort to account for those missing in Vietnam.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, then won it in 2008. But he and running mate Sarah Palin lost to Barack Obama.

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