Veterans blast Trump for disrespecting McCain; Not true, I respect him – Trump
A leading U.S. veterans’ group blasted President Donald Trump’s muted response to the death of Sen. John McCain, after the White House flag was fully raised on Monday after being briefly flown at half mast.
McCain, who was a leading conservative dissident within Trump’s Republican Party, died on Aug. 25.
The White House, unusually, has issued no statement on the death, with Trump tweeting only a brief statement of condolence for the family with no mention of McCain’s military and political careers.
“It’s outrageous that the White House would mark American hero John McCain’s death with a two-sentence tweet, making no mention of his heroic and inspiring life,” said Joe Chenelly, National Executive Director of AMVETS.
During events attended by reporters on Monday at the White House, Trump ignored questions about his McCain response.
The flag on the White House roof was lowered late Saturday and all day Sunday to half mast but returned to the top of the pole on Monday.
A few hundred metres away, flags around the Washington Monument remained at half mast.
Federal rules call for flags to be lowed for Congress members on the day of death and the day after.
“By lowering flags for not one second more than the bare minimum required by law, in spite of a long-standing tradition of lowering flags until the funeral, the White House is openly showcasing its blatant disrespect for Sen. McCain’s many decades of service and sacrifice to our country as well as the service of all his fellow veterans,” Chenelly said.
But almost immediately, Trump released a statement on the death of Sen. John McCain after reports emerged that he rejected White House statement praising the late senator.
Trump, in a statement issued by the White House, said in spite of the differences he had with McCain, he respected his service to the country, while U.S. flags flying at full-mast at White House has been lowered.
“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.
“I have asked Vice President Mike Pence to offer an address at the ceremony honouring Senator McCain at the United States Capitol this Friday.
“At the request of the McCain family, I have also authorised 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.
“Finally, I have asked General John Kelly, Secretary James Mattis, and Ambassador John Bolton to represent my Administration at his services,” Trump said.