Following backlash from veterans' groups, President Trump on Monday issued an official proclamation and statement regarding the death of Sen. John McCain.
Trump was criticized for being uncharacteristically quiet following a brief tweet Saturday. While Trump's tweet offered sympathies to McCain's family, it offered no praise for the longtime Arizona senator, nor did an official statement follow to recognize his death. The White House flags were lowered to half-staff for a day and a half, though protocol dictated that they remain lowered until McCain's interment Sunday.
The controversy worsened after Trump ignored question after question about McCain on Monday. The American Legion, a major veterans' organization, urged the White House to recognize McCain more thoroughly, though Trump was frequently at odds with the senator over the years.
"Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Sen. John McCain's service to our country," read the official statement from Trump. Trump said that he had asked Vice President Mike Pence to speak at McCain's ceremony at the Capitol on Friday and for other top officials to attend his services, to which Trump was not invited.
In a proclamation, Trump officially directed that the White House flags be lowered once again, "as a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service" of McCain. He also instructed U.S. embassies and military posts to lower the flags. Summer Meza