Trump returns White House flag to half staff with statement: ‘At the request of the McCain family …’

UPDATE: President Trump issued the following statement on Monday afternoon.

“Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.”

“At the request of the McCain family, I have also authorized 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.”

Trump said he will send “General John Kelly, Secretary James Mattis, and Ambassador John Bolton to represent my Administration at his services.”

Less than 48 hours after President Donald Trump ordered flags lowered to mark the death of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the American flag sitting atop the White House was returned to full staff.

And the unexpected development did not escape the notice of reporters, who noted that flags have traditionally remained lowered until the public figure’s funeral.

This is sure to add fuel to the fire for the subdued response from President Trump following McCain’s death over the weekend, with Trump’s critics calling him petty.

Trump and McCain did not have a very amicable relationship, to say the least. Aside from a tweet Saturday expressing his condolences, the president has been quite on the senator’s passing.

“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain,” he tweeted. “Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1033515425336885248

At least Trump can’t be called two-faced, or hypocritical, which is now standard operating procedure in Washington, D.C.

ABC reporter Alex Mallin reported the White House flag was returned to its normal position “just after midnight.”

As with everything these days, the incident made for another opportunity to denounce Trump.

Here’s a sampling of other responses from media figures, with plenty of opinion mixed in:

Conservative pundit Erick Erickson even came up with a conspiracy theory behind the move:

https://twitter.com/EWErickson/status/1034050852145819648

McCain is scheduled to lie in the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday and then the U.S. Capitol on Friday, according to The Hill. His burial will take place Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

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Tom Tillison

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