WASHINGTON – Two days after Sen. John McCain’s death, President Donald Trump says he respects the senator’s “service to our country” and has signed a proclamation to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff until his burial.
The flag atop the White House flew at half-staff over the weekend but was raised Monday and then lowered again amid criticism. The American Legion demanded that Trump issue a proclamation honoring McCain’s heroism, and order the nation’s flags to be flown at half-staff.
Trump and McCain had feuded for years. Trump tweeted about McCain after his death Saturday but has passed up several chances to comment publicly on the Arizona senator.
Trump says in a written statement Monday that he has asked Vice President Mike Pence to speak at a ceremony honoring McCain at the Capitol on Friday.
The president also says he’s agreed to the McCain family’s request for military transportation of McCain’s remains from Arizona to Washington.
The American Legion had urged Trump to follow longtime protocol following the deaths of prominent government officials.
The group noted that Trump issued presidential proclamations commemorating the deaths of first lady Barbara Bush and pastor Billy Graham. McCain, who died Saturday at 81, is a decorated Vietnam War hero who spent more than five years as a prisoner-of-war and served in the Senate for six terms.