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White House Reverses Course, Re-Lowers Flags To Half-Staff For McCain After Massive Backlash


White House Reverses Course, Re-Lowers Flags To Half-Staff For McCain After Massive Backlash

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.

Republicans and Democrats condemned the White House’s decision to raise the flags the full-staff early Monday before McCain’s burial.

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.

Following the backlash to his response, President Trump issued a statement recognizing the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

“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.

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.


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