• Cindy McCain said her husband, the late Sen. John McCain, would not recognize today's GOP.
  • "Right now we've lost our way," she said.
  • President Joe Biden awarded the late senator the presidential medal of freedom on Thursday.

Cindy McCain on Thursday said today's Republican Party would be unrecognizable to her husband, the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

"I don't believe my husband would recognize it," McCain told MSNBC of the GOP. "But I do know one thing: he'd be fighting like the dickens to able to pull it back together and bring it back to what it was during previous Republican administrations and previous administrations as well."

Factions of the Republican Party have become increasingly divided, largely over their stance toward for former President Donald Trump and his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Intra-party fighting, at the state and national level, has been widespread since he left office. 

"I'm still a Republican. I believe in the party and I believe in what we stand for. But right now we've lost our way," said McCain, the current ambassador to the United Nations Agencies in Rome, appointed by President Joe Biden. McCain endorsed Biden in the 2020 election and met with a harsh rebuke from Trump, who had also frequently attacked her husband.

McCain's comments came hours before she accepted a presidential medal of freedom Biden posthumously awarded to her late husband, a military hero and champion of bipartisan politics. John McCain died from complications related to brain cancer in 2018.

"We used to argue like hell on the Senate floor. But then we'd go down and have lunch together afterwards," Biden, who served in the Senate alongside the late Republican, said at the ceremony on Thursday. 

"I never stopped admiring John," the president continued. "Never said a negative thing about him in my life because I knew his honor, his courage, and his commitment."

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