President Trump did not want to keep the White House flag at half staff because he thought the coverage of John McCain’s death was excessive. Nearly all American flags around D.C. have been flying at half-staff since the news of Senator John McCain’s passing on Saturday. McCain passed away at age 81 after a battle with brain cancer.
The President eventually lowered the flag again on Monday after he received backlash from many veterans. Trump had only let the flag remain at half-staff over the weekend. According to those close to the situation, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, Trump thought that the beloved Senator’s death was getting too much news coverage.
According to the Wall Street Journal the President thought that the coverage of McCain stopping treatment was, “over-the-top and more befitting a president.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders apparently played a pivotal role in convincing the President to lower the flag once again, and to issue a proclamation to honor Senator McCain.
A senior White House official told WSJ, “It was 99 percent Sarah, and partially Chief of Staff John Kelly’s influence that got Trump to change his mind.”
It is no secret that Senator McCain was highly critical of President Trump. McCain was a lifelong Republican, but was not afraid to speak his mind about the Republican President. The late Senator was an early critic of Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign. This led to a back and forth between the two men, including, Trump attacking McCain’s war record saying, “I like people who weren’t captured.”
This appears to be yet another episode that has cast a bad light onto the President.