Donald Trump's shameful silence on John McCain

Until 4 p.m. ET on Monday, here was the totality of President Donald Trump's reaction to the death of Arizon...

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 7:53 PM

Until 4 p.m. ET on Monday, here was the totality of President Donald Trump's reaction to the death of Arizona Sen. John McCain over the weekend: "My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!"

That was a tweet Trump sent on Saturday night shortly after the news of McCain's passing was made public.  On Monday, during a series of events at the White House, Trump was asked on five occasions if he wanted to add anything to that tweet or say anything at all about McCain. He said nothing. Meanwhile, the flag over the White House, which had flown at half-staff since McCain's death Saturday night, was returned to full-staff on Monday morning.

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After a day's worth of incoming negative attention, the White House moved the flag back to half-staff and released an official statement on McCain's death. Here's how it started:

"Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment."

Despite our differences? The man is dead! He spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp! He served in elected office for almost four decades! (The rest of the four-paragraph statement dealt mostly with logistical details Trump had approved for the weeklong remembrance ceremonies, CNN's Kevin Liptak reported).

That the President of the United States -- a man who famously/infamously said McCain was only a war hero because he had been captured -- had to be led, kicking and screaming, to do the most basic honoring of someone who spent a lifetime in service of the country is appalling. There's simply no other word for it.

But Trump's smallness highlights two important things to remember about him:

1) He NEVER takes the high road. Presidents prior to Trump believed the office to be, in part, about demonstrating moral leadership. Of course they had their own ambitions, hopes and desires but they at least made a bow to the idea that in being president, you have to put the "we" before the "me." That the high road is the one you take even if it's not nearly as satisfying in the short term. Because this isn't about you -- any president is simply renting the office, which ultimately belongs to the people and the country. Trump has given all sorts of examples that demonstrate he doesn't believe in the moral leadership element of the presidency -- from his reaction to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 to his lack of grace in response to McCain's death.

2) He doesn't DO empathy for his enemies. I'm not convinced Trump does empathy even for his friends. But he definitely doesn't do it for people who he considered his opponents. McCain and Trump had feuded in the past -- the whole not-a-war-hero thing didn't go over well, and McCain's health care vote has been a common punching bag for Trump at rallies -- and there's no question the Arizona Republican was a frequent Trump critic who offered no olive branch by making clear he didn't want Trump at his funeral. That said, McCain was not only a war hero but a leader within the Republican Party -- don't forget he was the GOP presidential nominee in 2008. To put aside personal enmity and grieve for the loss of someone who sacrificed so much for the country seems like such an easy thing to do. But not for Donald Trump.

The Point: The death of a long-serving Republican senator and war hero should be an absolute slam dunk for a Republican president, politically speaking. Honor his service, mourn for his family and ask that people remember the sacrifice he made. Donald Trump did none of those things, turning what should be a celebration of a life well lived in service of the country into a grudging and belated acknowledgment of a man who gave so much.

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Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 291891

Reported Deaths: 6605
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19470226
Hinds18555383
Harrison16385273
Rankin12498260
Jackson12401216
Lee9635160
Madison9353193
Jones7836144
Forrest7055135
Lauderdale6735225
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Lamar579379
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Monroe3971125
Union391372
Neshoba3746166
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Tate299172
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Scott291367
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Marion249478
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George229545
Newton222551
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Attala205669
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Holmes181470
Clay177348
Stone170729
Tallahatchie169039
Clarke167671
Calhoun155327
Smith151131
Yalobusha141936
Greene126333
Walthall123040
Noxubee122429
Montgomery120537
Perry120133
Lawrence118420
Carroll117123
Amite110632
Webster108629
Jefferson Davis99831
Tunica97923
Claiborne97329
Benton92524
Humphreys91226
Kemper89222
Quitman76614
Franklin75319
Choctaw69316
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson60827
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 488973

Reported Deaths: 9660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson703321342
Mobile35725716
Madison32088437
Tuscaloosa23913404
Montgomery22369481
Shelby21714209
Baldwin19554263
Lee14827147
Morgan13529243
Etowah13091309
Calhoun13063281
Marshall11197202
Houston10019255
Limestone9303130
Elmore9283179
Cullman8856176
St. Clair8747214
Lauderdale8541209
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7424161
Walker6466240
Jackson6450101
Autauga614384
Blount6058125
Colbert5973118
Coffee522299
Dale4606106
Russell400530
Franklin396575
Covington3918105
Chilton380096
Escambia375970
Tallapoosa3533138
Clarke342348
Dallas3385139
Chambers3382102
Pike292471
Lawrence280685
Marion277492
Winston244563
Marengo243454
Bibb243259
Geneva238168
Pickens223453
Barbour208450
Hale208064
Fayette198755
Butler194865
Henry181741
Cherokee175737
Monroe165538
Randolph161240
Washington155832
Crenshaw143052
Clay142554
Macon140344
Cleburne136139
Lamar130632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120525
Bullock116033
Conecuh106423
Perry104927
Sumter98231
Greene86732
Coosa86323
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