White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Sunday called Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe bully who pulls the levers of Trump's mind never learns GOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News MORE (R-Ariz.) an American hero and said she would definitely attend the senator’s funeral.
“Absolutely,” Sanders said when a TMZ reporter asked her if she would attend the Senate giant's funeral.
Sanders’s comments came after President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE reportedly nixed plans for a White House statement praising McCain, instead issuing a more neutral tweet of condolences.
My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2018
The president had previously said that McCain, who survived torture in a North Vietnamese POW camp, is not a war hero.
After facing criticism of his response, the president on Monday somewhat changed his tone on the late senator.
After the White House re-lowered the flag to half-mast on Monday afternoon, Trump issued a new statement saying that despite "difference on policy and politics" he respects McCain's "service to our country" and stating he has asked Vice President Pence to deliver remarks at a ceremony on Friday.
Unlike Sanders, the president has confirmed he will not be attending McCain’s funeral.