White House Re-Lowers Flag to Honor McCain

The American flag files at half-staff at the White House, Monday afternoon, Aug. 27, 2018, in Washington. Two days after Sen. John McCain's death, President Donald Trump says he respects the senator's "service to our country" and has signed a proclamation to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff until his burial. The flag atop the White House flew at half-staff over the weekend but was raised Monday and then lowered again amid criticism. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The American flag files at half-staff at the White House, Monday afternoon, Aug. 27, 2018, in Washington. Two days after Sen. John McCain’s death, President Donald Trump says he respects the senator’s “service to our country” and has signed a proclamation to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff until his burial. The flag atop the White House flew at half-staff over the weekend but was raised Monday and then lowered again amid criticism. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Glowering in public and near-silent for two days, President Donald Trump relented under pressure on Monday by tersely recognizing Sen. John McCain’s “service to our country” and re-lowering the White House flag.

While much of the nation remembered McCain’s record as a war hero, longtime senator and presidential nominee over the weekend, Trump had nursed his grievances. McCain had been an infuriating foil in a long-running feud over style and policy that did not end with the senator’s illness and death. Trump’s reluctance to participate in the national remembrance was awkward and uncomfortable, even by the standards of a leader who acknowledges he doesn’t act like a typical president. The episode highlighted the outsider president’s impulse to harbor personal resentments regardless of political repercussions.

Before Trump’s Monday afternoon statement, his only commentary on McCain’s death had been a perfunctory tweet on Saturday. The lack of a formal statement — combined with the fact that White House flags were flown at half-staff only briefly — drew strong criticism from Republicans and veterans’ groups as well as Democrats. When he finally did comment, in a printed statement, Trump was sparing with his praise for the six-term senator: “Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country.”

 

 

 


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My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!

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