In the wake of John McCain‘s death, veterans groups are calling on President Trump to show the proper respect and lower the White House flag to half-staff to honor the Arizona Republican Senator and war veteran.
The director for the veterans advocacy group AMVETS, Joe Chenelly, slammed the president for his insufficient tweet directed towards McCain’s family, along with the fact that the White House flag stands at full-staff just two days after McCain’s death from brain cancer.
“It’s outrageous that the White House would mark American hero John McCain’s death with a two-sentence tweet, making no mention of his heroic and inspiring life,” Joe Chenelly, the executive director of veterans advocacy group AMVETS, said in a statement.
“And by lowering flags for not one second more than the bare minimum required by law, despite a long-standing tradition of lowering flags until the funeral, the White House is openly showcasing its blatant disrespect for Senator McCain’s many decades of service and sacrifice to our country as well as the service of all his fellow veterans,” he added.
The country’s largest wartime veterans group had some harsh words for Trump as well.
“On 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 throughout his internment,” Denise Rohan, the national commander of the American Legion, said in a statement.
This Wednesday, flags at the White House returned to full-staff — just 48 hours after McCain’s death.
Trump’s historically rocky relationship with McCain has never abated. As numerous outlets reported, Trump continued to disparage McCain even on the months approaching his death as his condition worsened. According to The Washington Post, Trump reportedly rejected the idea of putting out a statement praising McCain, and instead settled for a tweet offering condolences to his family.
“Traditionally, the death of a sitting United States senator would be met with a presidential proclamation and flags flying at half-staff throughout the country until the funeral of the deceased,” AMVETS said in a statement. “This follows national tradition, as shown after the deaths of Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd.”
“But John McCain was not just a sitting senator,” the statement said. “He was a war hero, twice a presidential contender, and a national treasure who devoted his entire adult life to protecting and improving the American way of life.”
According a spokesperson for the late Senator, Trump will not be attending his funeral.
Update: CBS News is reporting that the White House flag is again at half-staff. The apparent reversal came after the America Legion released their statement condemning Trump.
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