White House wobbles on US flag after McCain death

White House wobbles on US flag after McCain death

The American flag that flies above the White House was at full staff on Monday-shortly after it was lowered in honor of Sen. The Arizona Republican, whose relationship with President Trump has always been fraught, died Saturday at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer.

The White House lowered its USA flag to half-staff, raised it back up and on Monday lowered it again after the death of Senator John McCain, in an unusual and confusing break with protocol on the passing of a national leader.

The flag atop the White House flew at half-staff over the weekend in recognition of McCain's death but was raised Monday and then lowered again amid criticism.

"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 internment", said a statement to Trump from Denise Rohan, the organization's national commander.

Finally, under pressure from veterans and members of Congress, Trump said in a statement later on Monday that he respected McCain's service to the nation and had ordered flags to half-staff. McCain's final resting service will take place Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

During several events open to cameras Monday, Mr. Trump did not answer shouted questions from reporters about his response to McCain's death.

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After Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy of MA died in 2009, President Barack Obama ordered flags at the White House be flown at half-staff for five days.

President Donald Trump was not expected to attend any of the services. In statements on Twitter, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence thanked and honored McCain's service and offered condolences.

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, said McCain's support for the Jewish state never wavered: "It sprang from his belief in democracy and freedom". Under state law, the governor's appointee to serve until the next general election in 2020 must come from the same political party. "There really is no room in the McCain family today to focus on anything but him".

Other tributes poured in from around the globe. And Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, called McCain "a tireless fighter for a strong trans-Atlantic alliance. He devoted his entire life to his country". He went on to win a seat in the House and in 1986, the Senate, where he served for the rest of his life.

However, Trump did tweet about McCain's death on Saturday, saying that his "deepest sympathies and respect" went out to the senator's family.