Administration

White House re-lowers flag to half staff to honor McCain after backlash

The White House on Monday afternoon re-lowered its flags to half staff after drawing significant backlash for returning them to full staff less than 48 hours after the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Multiple reporters noted on social media that the flags were flying at half staff once again as of roughly 3:45 p.m. President Trump issued a proclamation a short time later ordering flags at government buildings remain at half staff to honor McCain.

Republicans and Democrats condemned the White House on Monday after the flags were raised back to full staff early Monday.

The flag outside the U.S. Capitol remained at half staff throughout Monday. Flags typically remain lowered through the burial of a sitting lawmaker or major public figure.

Trump reportedly nixed a drafted statement from the White House calling McCain a "hero" after the senator's death. The president instead issued a tweet offering his sympathies to McCain's family.

"My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain," Trump tweeted Saturday night. "Our hearts and prayers are with you!"

McCain died Saturday at age 81 a little over a year after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Even after his diagnosis, he remained one of Trump's most outspoken Republican critics.

A family spokesman said Monday that Trump is not expected to attend McCain's memorial service in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush are scheduled to deliver eulogies at the event.

--Updated at 4:21 p.m.

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