Trump Reportedly Vetoed Laudatory John McCain Statement

Trump Reportedly Vetoed Laudatory John McCain Statement

Still, there might be a political upside, since some of his devoted base voters viewed McCain as a political relic, especially following the President's frequent attacks on the Arizona senator.

Against that backdrop, the flag above the White House spoke volumes. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks at a rally in Davenport, Iowa.

The 81-year-old McCain served six terms in the Senate.

A Navy aviator, McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam before serving 35 years in Congress and running twice for president in 2000 and 2008. The lack of a formal statement - combined with the fact that White House flags were flown at half-staff only briefly - drew strong criticism from Republicans and veterans' groups as well as Democrats.

Trump and McCain clashed often.

After McCain's death, Trump tweeted: "My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain".

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who developed a friendship with McCain while they served together in the Senate, said the Arizona lawmaker will "cast a long shadow". He also tweeted insults about the senator on several occasions.

The patent contempt the two men displayed for each other showed no sign of fading, even as McCain continued to weaken.

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On Monday afternoon, Trump released his first official statement regarding McCain's passing.

McCain's service to his country as a navy pilot, a Vietnam prisoner of war, who endured huge torture while refusing to abandon his fellow prisoners and, of course, his long service in American politics is the stuff of legends, to be sure. "He heard me but did not answer", wrote ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on Twitter. But it flew at full staff on Monday. Typical practice is for flags to remain at half-staff through the day of interment.

That's standard procedure when a member of the Senate passes away. He said he was honored to have traveled and worked with McCain as a member of the Armed Services Committee.

Days later, Obama also ordered the White House flags lowered.

McCain was a frequent critic of Trump on everything from his leadership style to his Russian Federation policy. McCain's vote last summer against a Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act ensured the defeat of one of Trump's signature policy initiatives. He was 81. His office says McCain died Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

In 2009, following the death of Sen. McCain had been a vocal thorn in the president's side, dramatically undermining a move to roll back Obamacare and frequently criticizing the administration.

The flags at the U.S. Capitol, meanwhile, remained at half-staff on Monday to honor the Arizona Republican, who died Saturday of brain cancer.

McCain was a noted critic of Trump, and Trump's response to McCain's death has been closely watched.

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