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The casket of Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., is carried down the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. September 1, 2018. Marvin Joseph/Pool via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A motorcade bearing the body of Senator John McCain departed the U.S. Capitol and was en route early on Saturday to the Washington National Cathedral for a memorial to be attended by political leaders, but not by President Donald Trump.

Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush will lead mourners in the cathedral service for McCain, the longtime Arizona senator and Vietnam war hero whose bids for the White House were dashed by the two men.

En route to the cathedral, the cortege of one of America's most famous prisoners of war stopped briefly at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where his wife, Cindy McCain, laid a wreath to honour those who died in the war.

McCain's family made clear Trump was not welcome at memorial services in Arizona and Washington or at Sunday's private burial service at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

McCain lay in state in the Capitol on Friday.

(Reporting by Kevin Drawbaugh; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Reuters