Trump rejected plan for McCain statement

White House aides drafted a fulsome statement for President Donald Trump on the death of Sen. John McCain, but it was never sent out, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN.

Posted: Aug 27, 2018 11:01 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2018 11:01 PM

Just after midnight on Sunday night, the flag flying above the White House was hoisted back to full staff.

Since Saturday evening, it had been positioned at half-staff to mark the death of Sen. John McCain, the former Vietnam prisoner of war and onetime Republican nominee for President. His death had sparked an outpouring of tributes from across the political spectrum, except at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. President Donald Trump initially tweeted condolences for McCain's family but did not praise the senator specifically. On Monday afternoon, he issued a statement saying, "Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country. "

Earlier Monday, the White House flag had returned to its regular position even as other flags around Washington -- including at the US Capitol -- remained in the half-staff mourning position.

But on Monday afternoon, the White House once again lowered the flag to half-staff and Trump, in his statement said he "signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment."

The contrast earlier in the day offered the latest reminder of the animosity that Trump has maintained for McCain, even after his passing.

Trump has yet to offer a single word of praise or recognition of McCain's service since he died Saturday after a battle with brain cancer. The White House offered no official statement, but Trump did tweet his "deepest sympathies and respect" to McCain's family.

Early in his presidential bid, Trump -- who received five deferments to avoid military service in Vietnam -- infamously maintained that McCain was not a war hero because he had been captured. He never apologized or walked-back his comments, despite the fact that McCain was imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam for more than five years.

Barring an official White House proclamation ordering flags nationwide to be flown at half-staff in McCain's honor, the top Senate Republican and Democrat on Monday requested that the Defense Department "provide necessary support so that US flags on all government buildings remain at half-mast through sunset on the day of Senator McCain's interment," Schumer's communications director said.

Defense Department guidelines call for flags to be flown at half-staff "from the day of death through the following day" in the event a US senator or member of Congress dies. But the President has the authority to order a longer period of mourning.

Even after McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, Trump continued to launch broadsides in McCain's direction, lambasting him for his critical "no" vote that thwarted a last-ditch Republican effort to partially repeal Obamacare. Earlier this month, during a signing event for the national defense spending bill named after McCain, Trump did not once mention the senator.

During the time he remained active in the Senate, McCain also expressed deep misgivings about Trump's job as President, criticizing his handling of world affairs and the example he has set for the country.

McCain also made clear he did not want Trump to attend his funeral service, instead choosing former Presidents George W. Bush, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat, to eulogize him. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to represent the White House at McCain's funeral service.

CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 787421

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1114521765
Mobile708161234
Madison49744633
Baldwin36201495
Shelby36186315
Tuscaloosa33818548
Montgomery33135678
Lee22590220
Calhoun21140410
Morgan19795335
Etowah19188462
Marshall17659274
Houston16788386
St. Clair15408305
Cullman14568258
Limestone14553188
Elmore14444264
Lauderdale13486281
Talladega12932236
DeKalb12174237
Walker10561330
Blount9693157
Autauga9652137
Jackson9363158
Coffee8847175
Dale8584173
Colbert8508184
Tallapoosa6661181
Escambia6585121
Covington6432167
Chilton6372144
Russell605355
Franklin5779101
Chambers5398134
Marion4789120
Dallas4694189
Clarke462279
Pike461597
Geneva4396117
Winston425295
Lawrence4112108
Bibb408581
Barbour346570
Marengo326285
Butler318190
Monroe318153
Randolph305256
Pickens304474
Henry301358
Hale292285
Cherokee289455
Fayette279073
Washington245248
Crenshaw237970
Cleburne235251
Clay228365
Macon219258
Lamar196243
Conecuh181846
Lowndes170758
Coosa169935
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136437
Sumter124436
Greene121243
Choctaw73427
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While some cool mornings are again in store for the weekend, afternoons start to warm up a bit, so plan on dressing in layers if you're heading to the MSU or Bama games, because you'll need to utilize them in different ways.
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