Under pressure, Trump re-lowers WH flag for McCain
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bowing to pressure, President Donald Trump on Monday ordered American flags at U.S. buildings lowered to half-staff for Sen. John McCain until his burial Sunday. Trump’s proclamation came just hours after the White House flag had been returned to full staff, drawing complaints from right and left.
Trump, who had traded bitter criticism with McCain since before the election, declared his order “a mark of respect.” At the same time, he said he’d accede to the family’s request he stay away from McCain’s funeral services.
“Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment,” Trump said in a statement.
The statement came two days after McCain died at 81 from brain cancer — and after objections at Trump’s silence from lawmakers and others, including the American Legion, which demanded he do more to honor the Vietnam War hero and six-term senator. Trump initially tweeted condolences to McCain’s family but made no mention then of the Arizona Republican with whom he feuded for years.