Former Homeland Security official Miles Taylor said President Trump tried to rescind flag half-staff orders following the death of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhoopi Goldberg signs four-year deal with ABC to stay on 'The View' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Meghan McCain: Country has not 'healed' from Trump under Biden MORE (R-Ariz.).
The New York Times interviewed Taylor on Friday, who said he was on a counterterrorism trip in Australia at the time when he received calls from White House officials questioning the half-staff order for McCain.
"I get someone from the White House, a senior person there, who calls and says, 'What is going on with the flags? The president is upset, this has gone out too soon and he doesn't want it to happen.' "
Taylor said he later learned following the White House's allegedly unauthorized decision to lower the flags, the Department of Homeland Security sent out orders for all federal buildings to follow.
"They never ended up giving us that order, but the intimation I got was, 'This shouldn't have happened,' " Taylor said.
Taylor has been a popular guest in the media wheelhouse as a former insider with information regarding Trump's reported gaffes and mishandlings of his leadership. He also recently endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi sets Thursday vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill Pressure grows to cut diplomatic red tape for Afghans left behind President Biden is making the world a more dangerous place MORE.
Trump's comments about McCain came back into the limelight Thursday after a report published in The Atlantic alleged the president referred to deceased American veterans at a French cemetery as "losers" and "suckers."
In 2015, Trump called the Vietnam War veteran McCain a "loser," cited as calling him the term in regards to the late Republican senator's loss in the 2008 presidential election.
Still, Trump added at the time McCain was "not a war hero," which upset many due to McCain's tenure in the military and his five and a half years spent as a prisoner of war.
On Friday, Trump denied the claims in The Atlantic report, adding that he respected McCain despite their apparent disagreements.
"I was never a fan. I will admit that openly," Trump said. "But we lowered the flags. I had to approve that, nobody else, I had to approve it."