Bowing to pressure, President Donald Trump on Monday ordered American flags at USA buildings lowered to half-staff for Sen.
"Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country and, in his honour, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment", Mr Trump said in a statement. The White House re-lowered the flag to half staff to honor the late Sen.
McCain finished his letter on a note that reflected his many years in service of the American military and later the American people, pointing to the perseverance of the people and encouraging hope: "Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here", wrote the senator.
It's the 584th day of Donald Trump's presidency, and it seems he spent most of it responding to the death of a long-serving USA elected official in pretty much the same way as Russia Today's editor. The White House offered no official statement, but Trump did tweet his "deepest sympathies and respect" to McCain's family.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell paid tribute to John McCain on Monday by recalling their own legislative battles while echoing the late senator's belief that there's more that unites than divides Americans.
Glowering in public and near-silent for two days, President Donald Trump relented under pressure on Monday by tersely recognizing Sen. Text the word "NEWS" to 22840.
Later, at an evening dinner honoring evangelical leaders, he said "our hearts and prayers" are going to the family "and we very much appreciate everything that Senator McCain has done for our country".
Not only that, the flag at the White House was raised back to full staff - which typically, after the passing of sitting senators, it remains at half mast until their burial. Trump has followed the US flag code: The flags need to be lowered for a member of Congress only on the day of their death and the day after. However, presidents normally keep the flag at half-staff until the funeral.
The relationship between McCain and Trump continued to be tested in the months ahead.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) talks to reporters after a vote on health care legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 26, 2017.
"The disparity between the Congress and White House policy is obviously noticeable and somewhat shocking".
McCain was a frequent Trump critic and his family has said he did not want the president to attend his funeral.
Rick Davis, McCain's former campaign manager and a longtime adviser, said at a Monday press conference in Arizona that, per McCain's wishes, Trump won't be among those attending a funeral service in Washington on Saturday. "We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down", McCain said.
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Obama released a statement shortly after McCain's death, which acknowledged their differences on multiple fronts and said despite those differences they shared "a fidelity to something higher - the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants have fought, marched, and sacrificed".
McCain also defended the ideals of what came to be known as the liberal world order - the post-World War II architecture of American-led worldwide institutions and alliances that Trump often complains have become a burden.
By day's end, Trump had done just that, with no immediate explanation from the White House.
"It's all over now", McCain said. "Everyone knows we don't like each other", the president said, according to one senior White House official.