An American flag above the White House flies at full-staff less than 48 hours after the death of Sen. John McCain, Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump says 'we appreciate everything' McCain did, issues honorary proclamation

Reacting to in-party criticism, orders flags to be flown at half-staff

August 27, 2018 - 7:16 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's response to the death of Sen. John McCain, and the events commemorating the Arizona Republican and Trump critic (all times EDT):

7 p.m.

President Donald Trump has broken his silence on John McCain, saying he appreciates everything the late senator has done for the country.

It was Trump's first public comment about McCain since the Arizona senator's death Saturday from brain cancer.

Trump spoke Monday evening at a White House dinner for evangelical leaders.

The president offered prayers and condolences to those slain in a Jacksonville, Florida, shooting, before pivoting to McCain, a critic with whom he has feuded.

Says Trump: "Our hearts and prayers are going to the family of Sen. John McCain. We appreciate everything McCain has done for our country."

The 81-year-old McCain served six terms in the Senate. He also served in the House and in the Navy, was a prisoner of war in Vietnam and ran for president twice.

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4:05 p.m.

Two days after Sen. John McCain's death, President Donald Trump says he respects the senator's "service to our country" and has signed a proclamation to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff until his burial.

The flag atop the White House flew at half-staff over the weekend but was raised Monday and then lowered again amid criticism.

Trump and McCain have feuded for years. Trump tweeted about McCain after his death Saturday but has passed up several chances to comment publicly on the Arizona senator.

Trump says in a written statement Monday that he has asked Vice President Mike Pence to speak at a ceremony honoring McCain at the Capitol on Friday.

The president also says he's agreed to the McCain family's request for military transportation of McCain's remains from Arizona to Washington.

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3:20 p.m.

The American Legion is demanding that President Donald Trump issue a proclamation honoring Sen. John McCain's heroism, and order the nation's flags to be flown at half-staff.

The nation's largest veterans' service organization urged Trump in a statement Monday to follow longtime protocol following the deaths of prominent government officials.

The group noted that Trump issued presidential proclamations commemorating the deaths of first lady Barbara Bush and pastor Billy Graham. McCain, who died Saturday at 81, is a decorated Vietnam War hero who spent more than five years as a prisoner-of-war and served in the Senate for six terms.

Trump tweeted condolences to McCain's family, but did not mention McCain or issue any statement.

The American flag at the White House was lowered to half-staff on Sunday. But it flew at full staff on Monday.

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11:45 a.m.

In a contrast with the White House, Senate leaders of both parties have formally requested American flags at government buildings remain at half-staff to honor Sen. John McCain.

That's standard procedure when a member of the Senate passes away. McCain served in the chamber for six terms, most recently as chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

The request contrasts with the White House, which raised its flags back to full staff on Monday after lowering them on Sunday.

McCain was a frequent critic of President Donald Trump on everything from his leadership style to his Russia policy. Trump questioned the decorated veteran and six-term senator's heroism and chafed at McCain's vote to kill the health care law repeal.

McCain died on Saturday. Trump tweeted condolences to his family but made no reference to the Arizona senator.

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9:10 a.m.

The flags at the White House, which were lowered over the weekend to mark the death of Sen. John McCain, are back at full-staff.

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.

President Donald Trump offered his condolences on Twitter to McCain's family but hasn't issued a presidential proclamation with an order lowering the flags. The two had a long-running feud.

U.S. Flag Code states that flags be lowered "on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress."

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

The White House didn't immediately respond to questions Monday.

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