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Friday, August 31, 2018

Trump ordered a half-mast flag due to McCain

Por Kvothe

Under pressure from locals and foreigners, President Donald Trump finally expressed his "respect" for the late John McCain, an icon of US politics, and ordered the national flag to be placed at half-mast in every building in the country. "Despite our differences in politics, I respect the service provided by Senator John McCain to our country and, in his honor, I have signed an order to fly at half-mast the flag of the United States until the day of his burial" on Sunday, he said in a statement.

He also noted that Vice President Mike Pence will speak at a ceremony to be held on Friday at Capitol Hill, and that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Advisor John Bolton will represent him in a service in memory of McCain.

Until Monday, the president had refused to greet the memory of McCain, who died Saturday at the age of 81 after a battle against brain cancer.

Trump had limited himself to expressing, in a laconic tweet, his "deepest sympathy and respect" for McCain's family, but unlike Mike Pence, First Lady Melania and other high-ranking officials, he had offered no words of thanks or appreciation, nor made reference to the trajectory of the emblematic politician.

It is unlikely that his belated reaction will alter his isolation and the judgment of his detractors, who highlight his inability to unite a divided nation, even in a moment of mourning.

A spokesman for the former senator confirmed the already anticipated absence of the 45th president of the United States at the state funerals scheduled for Saturday at the National Cathedral in Washington, where ex-presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, republican and democrat, will officiate as speakers.

"The president will not attend the funeral. That's a fact, " Rick Davis, a long-time McCain collaborator, told a news conference in Arizona on Monday.

According to US media, John McCain had specifically asked that President Trump not be present at the funeral ceremonies.

The Washington Post reported Trump had rejected the publication of a statement from the White House in which tribute was paid to the deceased senator and the former prisoner was qualified during the Vietnam War as a "hero".

Trump, who avoided military service in Vietnam, has had only words of contempt for McCain, especially when in 2015 he publicly questioned his honor.

"He is a war hero only because he was captured. I like people who do not get captured," the magnate had declared.