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GOP lawmaker: ‘John McCain is partially to blame’ for flag-lowering flap

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james inhofe
Sen. James Inhofe of
Oklahoma.

AP

  • Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma said the
    fraught relationship between Sen. John McCain and President
    Donald Trump is what prompted the White House’s bungled
    response to lowering flags in McCain’s honor.
  • “Well, you know, frankly, I think that John McCain is
    partially to blame for that because he is very outspoken,”
    Inhofe said. “He disagreed with the president in certain areas
    and wasn’t too courteous about it.”
  • Flags at the White House were lowered to half-staff
    after McCain’s death on Saturday and returned to full staff
    early Monday morning.
  • The slight did not go unnoticed, and Trump later signed
    a proclamation ordering flags to be lowered, and issued a
    longer statement on McCain’s death.

Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma said the fraught
relationship between Sen. John McCain and President Donald Trump
is what prompted the White House’s bungled response to lowering
flags in McCain’s honor.

“Well, you know, frankly, I think that John McCain is partially
to blame for that because he is very outspoken,” Inhofe said. “He
disagreed with the president in certain areas and wasn’t too
courteous about it.”

Flags at the White House were lowered to half-staff after
McCain’s death on Saturday and returned to full staff early
Monday morning.

The slight did not go unnoticed, and Trump later signed a
proclamation ordering flags to be lowered, and issued a longer
statement on Monday, praising McCain’s service and sacrifice.

Trump initially
tweeted his condolences
to the McCain family on Saturday and
offered no further official statement until Monday.

Federal code only requires the flag to be flown at half-staff
“on the day of death and following day” for a member of Congress.
But traditionally, US presidents have signed proclamations for
flags to remain at half-staff until a prominent US official is
buried — McCain is expected to be buried at the US Naval Academy
in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday.

The feud between Trump and McCain was fueled in part by Trump’s
previous comments in which he downplayed McCain’s military
service and criticized a Gold Star family during the
2016 presidential campaign.

McCain served in the Vietnam War, was captured and held prisoner
in Hanoi for five years.

“He is a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said in 2015.
“I like people that weren’t captured, OK? I hate to tell you.”
Trump took a similar jab at McCain back in January 2000, during
the Arizona senator’s first run for president.

Inhofe, a staunch Trump supporter, is expected to replace McCain
as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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