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.
The American flag fluttering atop the White House became the focus of national attention for most of Monday as the United States administration calibrated its response to the passing of Republican senator John McCain, also a national hero and an unrelenting critic of President Donald Trump.
Trump said Monday afternoon that he respects the senator’s “service to our country” and signed a proclamation to fly the USA flag at half-staff until his burial.
Graham went on to say that McCain had wanted to and was prepared to become president in 2008, but that the Oval Office was not his to be had. So, the White House didn’t break the rules, as Mr McCain died on Saturday and the flag was raised to its full height on Monday.
Against that backdrop, the flag above the White House spoke volumes.
The White House lowered its US flag to half-staff, raised it back up and on Monday lowered it again after the death of Senator John McCain, in an unusual and confusing break with protocol on the passing of a national leader.
“Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here”, McCain wrote. Jeff Flake. It will also mark the first appearance of McCain’s family members since the longtime Arizona senator died of brain cancer on Saturday at age 81.
McCain’s services would be the third key event in which President Trump’s name failed to appear on a guest list.
McConnell announced he’d form a bipartisan “gang” to examine best ways to honor McCain’s legacy in the Senate, though he declined to mention Schumer’s idea to rename the Russell Senate Office building after the Arizona Republican. But the fact that those sentiments have an urgent edge in the current environment is one way to gauge how far we have lurched from traditional American terms of debate.
“I just don’t think it does anything to the memory of John McCain to use him as a cudgel to beat up the president at this point”, Santorum said.
A private funeral is planned for Sunday afternoon at the Naval Academy Chapel followed by a private burial at the academy cemetery.
He declined to answer any question’s about the flag or Trump’s response to McCain’s death. “He’s crawling the damn walls because they’re running story after story on John McCain and he hates it because he’s not the center of attention”.
Trump said Vice President Mike Pence will address a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Friday.
Surrounded by a dozen members of the Senate from both sides of the aisle, Graham shared “a few dumb jokes told over and over” and talked of his trip to Vietnam when McCain returned to the Hanoi Hilton, his prison for five-and-a-half years.
It took pressure from his staff, the public, and even the American Legion to break his silence and see the flag lowered.