White House reaction to McCain’s death continues to spark controversy

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Washington, Aug 28 (IANS) The tepid reaction of the US President Donald Trump’s administration to the death of Republican Senator John McCain continued to generate controversy on Monday after authorities raised the US flag at the presidential residence to full-staff from half-staff after only a little more than a day-and-a-half of “mourning”.

Despite the fact that the bad relationship between Trump and McCain was well-known publicly, the social networks reacted on Monday with a mixture of amazement and indignation to the fact that the flags at the White House were once again waving from the top of the flagpoles after being lowered after the senator’s death from brain cancer on Saturday, Efe reported.

According to reporters who regularly cover the White House, it is traditional after the death of a person such as McCain – a Vietnam War veteran and POW who was tortured during his captivity, ultimately served for decades in the Senate and was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008 – for flags to be lowered to half-staff until after the funeral.

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McCain is scheduled to be buried on Sunday, September 2, at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, after a funeral service is held at the National Cathedral in Washington on Saturday.

Last weekend, the daily Washington Post reported, citing current and former White House employees, that Trump had rejected issuing an official statement calling McCain a “hero”.

Since Trump has been president, McCain has criticized his foreign policy and used his vote to derail a Trump-supported plan to eliminate ObamaCare, as well as publicly warning about the president’s “egoism” and apparent affinity for “autocrats”.

Notwithstanding these differences, however, one of the most bitter disputes between the two men arose during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, when the mogul said that he did not consider McCain a hero because he liked people who were not “captured” by the enemy during wartime.

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Trump’s only official reaction to McCain’s death came on Twitter, where he wrote: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

–IANS

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