White House raises white flag over John McCain tribute

Pearl Mccarthy
August 28, 2018

"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. Following McCain's death on Saturday, the White House had flown its flags at half staff on Sunday, and then raised them to full staff minutes after midnight on Monday morning.

The longtime senator clashed repeatedly with Trump despite being from the same party, and the president - who in 2016 famously dismissed McCain as "not a war hero" - has paid scant tribute to the senator in the wake of his death.

John McCain will be memorialized by past presidents and Senate colleagues from both political parties in Arizona and Washington D.C this week.

In his speech before the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recalled how a "scrappy pilot" who barely graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy became a decorated war hero and one of Washington's most respected leaders.

Sanders's comments came after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump Jr. claims CNN covering for "leftist hack" Carl Bernstein over Trump Tower story Trump misstates approval rating in latest poll Arizona governor faces pressure over McCain replacement MORE reportedly nixed plans for a White House statement praising McCain, instead issuing a more neutral tweet of condolences.

He had previously refused to sign the proclamation which would order the American flag to remain at half-mast until the funeral. The Russell Building now houses the Senate Armed Services Committee offices.

It might seem like an odd proposal - after all, Richard Russell was a Democrat who represented Georgia in the Senate for 38 years and who was dubbed a "senators' senator" for his mastery of the chamber's arcane rules and procedures.

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McCain was a frequent critic of President Donald Trump on everything from his leadership style to his Russian Federation policy. He was one of just three Republican senators to vote against - and thus defeat - a Trump-backed effort to repeal Barack Obama's signature health care law.

McCain died on Saturday.

That appeared to be a reference to Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan.

The flags at the White House, which were lowered over the weekend to mark the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy died in 2009 - nine years to the day that McCain died, and of the same form of brain cancer.

John McCain, are back at full-staff.

After Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy of MA died in 2009, President Barack Obama ordered flags at the White House be flown at half-staff for five days. Others have included 11 US presidents dating to Abraham Lincoln, including four who were assassinated; two vice presidents; six other members of Congress; three military leaders; and the unknown soldiers from World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

By day's end, Trump had done just that, with no immediate explanation from the White House.

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