President Donald Trump quietly lent Air Force Two to the family of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for their travel to Washington, D.C., despite a week of backlash for his contentious relationship with the late senator.
According to a report from TMZ, the president personally signed off on the flight, allowing McCain’s family to be transported using Air Force Two — a jet usually reserved for Vice President Mike Pence or first lady Melania Trump.Alex Wong/Getty Images
President Trump had announced in a statement earlier in the week that he signed off on a military transport for McCain, but he did not state that Air Force Two would be used for the family.
“At the request of the McCain family, I have also authorized military transportation of Senator McCain’s remains from Arizona to Washington, D.C., military pallbearers and band support, and a horse and caisson transport during the service at the United States Naval Academy,” Trump stated.
According to Arizona Central, Air Force Two has been used to transport other deceased war heroes in the past, including United States Marine and Central Intelligence Agency Operations Officer Johnny Michael Spann, who was the first American to be killed in combat in Afghanistan.
The president authorized the plane’s usage to take McCain’s casket and his family from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., for the senator to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday.Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Reuters
This move came after many attacks on Trump for his handling of McCain’s death. Many people attacked the president after he returned the flags at the White House to full staff before McCain’s internment.
Traditionally, the flag remains at half-staff for prominent individuals until the deceased’s internment.
The president did return the flag back to half-staff after signing a proclamation, but for some, that was too late.
That wasn’t the only controversy between Trump and McCain. The funeral drama began in May when McCain announced he did not want the president to attend his funeral, and it revamped after McCain’s family announced he would no longer seek treatment.
Despite the long-lasting outrage, the president authorized Air Force Two for the family.
Although Trump graciously allowed the family to use the plane, the senator’s daughter, Meghan McCain, still jabbed the president Saturday during her speech that some found to be too political for a funeral.
Whether it was appreciated or not, President Trump found his own way to rise above the political drama.