The White House and President Donald Trump faced a wave of backlash after raising the flag atop the White House back to full-staff after the death of Sen. John McCain.
McCain passed away Saturday after a battle with brain cancer. Since his death, the senator has received an outpouring of tributes and memorials, but many have been following his legacy of conflict with Trump.
The two Republicans had many conflicts since Trump took office, the largest being McCain’s deciding vote on healthcare — a vote that tanked Trump’s plan.
Trump did send a tweet offering condolences to his family following McCain’s passing, but he hadn’t sent a presidential proclamation to lower the flag.
My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2018
Traditionally, when a prominent American dies, the flag is lowered until his or her internment. The White House broke that tradition, returning the flag back to full-staff — a move some saw as a final jab at McCain.
Many expressed their frustration with the president for raising the White House flag and demanded that the president return the flag to half-staff.
A friend emails: “Of all the low life actions taken by the occupant of 1600 raising the flag this am at the White House was certainly in the running for the worst. It is an insult to all of us since it is not his house but ours.”
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 27, 2018
— Bruce Leshan (@BruceLeshan) August 27, 2018
During a meeting this morning, members of the press hounded the president, demanding to know if he thought McCain was a hero. The president declined to answer.
Questions from Jon Karl to which Trump doesn’t respond:
“Mr. President, do you have any thoughts on John McCain?”
“Do you have any thoughts at all about John McCain?”
“Do you believe John McCain was a hero, sir?”
“Nothing at all about John McCain?” (CSPAN) pic.twitter.com/DNV3oupukt
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 27, 2018
Although he refused to discuss McCain with reporters, it seems as though something changed within the White House team, because the flag was lowered once again. It will remain lowered until McCain’s internment, as issued by Trump’s recent proclamation.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) 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,” wrote the president.
McCain will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, an honor only eight other members of Congress have had. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also proposed renaming the senate building in McCain’s honor.