Flags at The White House was back at half mast after they were back at full-staff Monday.
“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,” said Trump, who added that Vice President Mike Pence would make remarks at Friday’s ceremony honoring McCain at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump’s statement was made public moments after the White House flag was returned to half-staff Monday afternoon following complaints from two of America’s most prominent veterans’ groups.
Objections mounted and Senate leaders of both parties formally requested that American flags at government buildings stay at half-mast to honor Sen. John McCain.
President Donald Trump also passed up several chances to comment on McCain, with whom he had frequently traded criticism.
The flags at the White House had been lowered a day earlier but were back up on Monday in a break with tradition. That brought complaints from both right and left, including the America Legion.
“On the behalf of The American Legion’s two million wartime veterans, I strongly urge you to make an appropriate presidential proclamation noting Senator McCain’s death and legacy of service to our nation, and that our nation’s flag be half-staffed through his internment,” said a statement to Trump from Denise Rohan, the organization’s national commander.
Aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Charles Schumer requested that the Department of Defense keep flags at government buildings lowered until the sunset after McCain is buried in Annapolis, Maryland, next Sunday.
That’s standard procedure when a member of the Senate passes away. McCain served in the chamber for six terms, most recently as chairman of the Armed Services Committee.