Moments before the ceremony began, rain poured down as US service members escorted McCain's flag-draped casket up the Capitol steps, as senators and members of Congress - in addition to McCain's widow, Cindy, his children, and his 106-year-old mother Roberta - awaited his arrival.
Trump, who had a rocky relationship with McCain, was in Charlotte, North Carolina meeting with his supporters during McCain's lying in state ceremonies.
Meghan McCain looked daggers at Vice President Pence as he spoke at her father's memorial ceremony Friday. But despite their political differences, the former vice president said he views McCain as a brother.
Biden said their close personal bond abided even when the senator from DE was chosen as the running mate for McCain's Democratic rival in the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama, who defeated McCain. But I pray, I pray you take some comfort knowing that because you shared John with all of us, your whole life, the world now shares with you in the ache of John's death."There are times when life can be so cruel, pain so blinding it's hard to see anything else".
Biden, 75, first met McCain in the 1970s when McCain was a Navy Senate liaison.
McCain understood and appreciated Arizona's large immigrant community, said Tommy Espinoza, president of the Raza Development Fund Inc. "That's when it changed", Biden said.
Speaking in Minneapolis at the American Legion's 100th annual convention Thursday, Pence said McCain served 5½ years as a prison of war in Vietnam and "did not yield". "We had a hell of a lot of family fights".
Biden led heartfelt tributes to the warrior and onetime Republican presidential nominee at a Phoenix memorial shortly before McCain's remains were to be flown to Washington. "We go back a long way".
The private ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland, was as carefully planned as the rest of McCain's farewell tour, which began in Arizona after he died August 25 from brain cancer and stretched to Washington.
McCain would call him in the middle of a campaign to give him advice, Biden recalled.
"I think it's because they knew John believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of America".
"I always thought of John as a brother". "An award. for civility", Biden said with just the right amount of incredulity.
He said McCain "love basic values - fairness, honesty, dignity, respect". "It's brutal. It's relentless".
Hundreds of Arizonans were seen lining the streets to pay final respects as McCain's flag-draped coffin was then driven in a black hearse, escorted by four policemen on motorcycles, towards the airport for transport to Washington aboard a U.S. military plane.