Flags at White House return to full staff after brief tribute to Sen. McCain
WASHINGTON - U.S. flags at the White House returned to full staff on Monday morning as the nation continued to mourn the death of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
The flags were lowered Saturday night following McCain's death from brain cancer, but President Donald Trump did not issue a proclamation that typically calls for flags to remain at half staff through the day of interment. Plans call for McCain, a former Navy pilot, to be buried Sunday in the cemetery on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Karen Travers tweeted "Flags at the White House were lowered to half staff this weekend for the passing of John McCain but this morning they are back to full staff.
"There was no official proclamation from President Trump (as he has done in the past for other notable figures passing)"
Flags at the White House were lowered to half staff this weekend for the passing of John McCain but this morning they are back to full staff.
There was no official proclamation from President Trump (as he has done in the past for other notable figures passing) pic.twitter.com/rmUO6xbtrp
— Karen Travers (@karentravers) August 27, 2018
Flags at the U.S. Capitol, where he served two terms in the House and six terms in the Senate, remained at half staff on Monday morning.
Trump and McCain had a bitter relationship that lasted through McCain's final days.
Following the senator's death, Trump posted a tweet that offered his "deepest sympathies and respect" to McCain's family but made no mention of McCain's storied service in the military and in the Senate.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that Trump had rejected the advice of top aides who advocated for an official statement that gave the decorated Vietnam War POW plaudits for his military and Senate service and called him a "hero."
Marc Short, Trump's former legislative director, said the president faced "a little bit of a situation of a Catch 22" when deciding how to respond to McCain's death.
"If the president put out a flowery statement about John McCain's life, the media would criticize it and say it's not consistent with the other things he's said in the past, and it would become a story about the president," Short said during an appearance on CNN.
Short said he personally considers McCain "an American hero who served our country nobly."
Throughout McCain's illness, Trump continued to publicly snub him - including at a recent appearance in which the president declined to say McCain's name when signing a bill that was named for him. Trump earlier disparaged McCain's Vietnam War service, saying he was "not a war hero" despite spending more than five years as a POW and enduring torture. McCain's plane was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 during a bombing run.
Throughout Trump's presidency, McCain did not hesitate to speak candidly about policy differences with Trump, including the president's friendly posture toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Over the weekend, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, R, ordered the Maryland state flag to be lowered to half-staff in honor of McCain until his burial on Sunday.
This article was written by John Wagner, a reporter for The Washington Post. The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.