The White House on Monday afternoon once again lowered its flags to half-staff after drawing fierce backlash for returning them to full staff less than 48 hours after the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Multiple reporters on Monday morning noted on social media that the flags were flying at half-staff.
There’s been a lot of focus on this today, but the White House flag is now at half staff, after being fully raised earlier in the day. pic.twitter.com/MPZvGjnN7T
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) August 27, 2018
Republicans and Democrats condemned the White House’s decision to raise the flags the full-staff early Monday before McCain’s burial.
The flags at the White House are back at full staff this morning. Traditionally, sitting senators who die in office have flags lowered in their honor from date of death until burial. And we've received no presidential proclamation for McCain.
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) August 27, 2018
The White House should issue a Presidential Proclamation to lower flags nationally for the next week to honor the life and service of John McCain. An American Hero deserves no less.
— John Faso (@RepJohnFaso) August 27, 2018
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) August 27, 2018
— Rep. Tim Walz (@RepTimWalz) August 27, 2018
Sen. #McCain was a war hero & served in Congress. Yet, the President who tells us how to respect the flag is incapable of honoring a dead veteran with a half-staff flag at the @WhiteHouse. If I worked there I’d resign. And @realDonaldTrump, spare us future lectures on the flag.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) August 27, 2018
The American Legion, the country’s largest wartime veterans service organization, called on President Trump to lower White House flags to half-staff to honor John McCain and issue a proclamation honoring McCain’s service.
“It’s outrageous that the White House would mark American hero John McCain’s death with a two-sentence tweet, making no mention of his heroic and inspiring life,” Joe Chenelly, the executive director of veterans advocacy group AMVETS, said in a statement.
The American Legion agrees … pic.twitter.com/AEout6tqjL
— Joe Delmonaco (@JoeDelmonaco) August 27, 2018
Following the backlash to his response, President Trump issued a statement recognizing the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) August 27, 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 in a statement.
“I have asked Vice President Mike Pence to offer an address at the ceremony honoring Senator McCain at the United States Capitol this Friday,” Trump added.
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) August 27, 2018
McCain died Saturday at age 81 following a yearlong battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
The senator reportedly did not want Trump to attend his funeral. He instead requested that former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush deliver eulogies.
Trump reportedly rejected a draft statement from the White House on Saturday calling McCain a “hero” after the senator’s death. Trump instead issued a short tweet offering his sympathies to McCain’s family that did not directly praise the senator’s service to the county.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump trashed McCain’s status as a war hero, saying the senator was “not a war hero” because he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Trump recently avoided saying McCain’s name while signing a bill named after him earlier this month.