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Trump finally orders flags lowered to honor McCain

Trump finally orders flags lowered to honor McCain”

Flags on Capitol Hill were still at half-staff Monday.

By day's end, it had become clear that in his stubborn defiance of protocol, the president had single-handedly turned the death of McCain into yet another political firestorm that was all about Trump.

USA law states that when the president or a governor orders a flag to be lowered to half-staff it should remain there for a set length of time - from 30 days for a current or former president to 10 days for a Supreme Court chief justice or House speaker and others, and until burial for Cabinet secretaries, governors and others. "Everyone knows we don't like each other", the president said, according to one senior White House official.

"My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain".

In a tweet Monday morning, Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had asked the Department of Defense to "provide necessary support so that US flags on all government buildings remain at half mast through sunset on the day of Senator McCain's interment".

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Defense Secretary James Mattis saluted McCain as a figure who "always put service to the nation before self", and "represented what he believed, that 'a shared goal does not claim our identity - on the contrary - it enlarges your sense of self'".

McCain was a frequent Trump critic and his family has said he did not want the president to attend his funeral.

The move on Monday afternoon came after White House officials had raised the flag earlier in the day, and Trump ignored nearly a dozen shouted questions about McCain while White House staffers convulsed over his reaction.

The extraordinary letter was a defiant coda to the years-long battle between the two men.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Trump had rejected the advice of top aides who advocated releasing an official statement that gave the decorated Vietnam War POW plaudits for his military and Senate service and called him a "hero". But with the White House proclamation issued late on Monday, the Pentagon can point to that as the directive responsive to the congressional request. Criticism was not far behind.

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McCain said Trump owed veterans an apology for that, but he continued to back the celebrity businessman as the Republican nominee.

"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 interment", said a statement directed to him from Denise Rohan, the organisation's national commander.

Short said he personally considers McCain "an American hero who served our country nobly". He made a decision to end treatment due to "the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age", according to a released statement from McCain's family. "We are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil", the former prisoner of war and two-time Republican presidential candidate said. "But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement". "McCain's service to our country". After gambling on political neophyte Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, McCain lost in 2008 to Democrat Barack Obama, who became the first black U.S. president.

"We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe". "We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been". Inside the chamber, the wooden desk that McCain occupied for six terms was draped in black.

Better late than never? The flag will now fly at half-staff until McCain's burial as is customary for someone of his stature.

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