GOP senators ding White House over McCain flag dust-up

President Donald Trump’s delay in honoring the late Sen. John McCain left some Republican senators questioning on Monday why obama did not lower the White House flag to half-staff sooner.

Trumps proclamation Monday to acquire the White House flag to half-staff in McCains honor after the raising of your flag on Monday morning drew criticism from veterans groups left even several of the presidents congressional GOP allies scratching their heads. As Americans on sides within the aisle joined together to mourn McCain, the move gave the impression to strike the late Arizona senators bereaved Republican colleagues to be a needless unforced error.

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Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the Monday flap over White House flags rising while Capitol flags remained at half-staff for McCain should not have access to happened.

That must have been automatic, Hatch told reporters. You do stuff that are sensible. And sensitive.

Although official code managing the display with the flag calls for a lowering to half-staff for starters full day after affiliated with Congress dies, which the White House had done following McCains death on Saturday, usual protocol for particularly high-ranking public officials has involved keeping the flag lowered prior to the day of interment.

Trump signed a proclamation making which occur on Monday afternoon, once veterans groups had begun speaking out and began his statement with the acknowledgment of his and McCains differences on policy and politics. After tangling with Trump while in the 2016 campaign, McCain was unafraid to openly challenge Trumps agenda and consider worldwide, including an implicit jab with the president in the farewell statement released publicly on Monday.

Trump declined to reply to repeated questions from White House reporters about McCain previously Monday, but later seemed to warm to honoring the late senator over again within a dinner with evangelical leaders. We significantly appreciate everything that Sen. McCain has done for our country," Trump said, depending on a pool report.

That tension between Trump and McCain made a previously sorrowful moment even tenser for Republican senators here we are at the Capitol on Monday.

I would not realize why the administration had the flag lowered for this kind of brief stretch of time, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said.

Asked whether Trump was letting his strained relationship when using the late six-term Arizonan impede of honoring McCain, Collins added: It certainly looks like that, however i cant speak for his motive. Im just glad that this decisions been reversed.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), chief in the GOP Conferences campaign arm, declined to battle the White Houses decision-making about the flag and attempt to pull the conversation returning to McCain.

Im not getting into that, Gardner said. What Let me say is, in the week is about John McCain, his legacy, his lifetime of company to this country.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) readily volunteered she was glad to view the White House return the flags to half-staff.

I mean, think about it, hes a national hero, much-beloved, and Im pleased that were doing what’s right, Capito said, circling back in clarify that I shouldnt say we the right thing is now being done.

Trumps proclamation on raising the White House flag came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who each delivered heartfelt speeches in McCains honor Monday, asked the Pentagon for assistance in flying flags at half-staff on all government buildings. The Senate also unanimously passed an answer in McCains honor late Monday.

Both McConnell and Schumer are scheduled to produce remarks Friday with a ceremony honoring McCain, who is going to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. V . p . Mike Pence is slated to dicuss on the part the administration, while Trump will remain away from both that event and McCains Saturday memorial service in Washington.

Schumer has proposed renaming the Russell Senate Office, where McCains office was located, in honor of the late GOP presidential nominee and decorated veteran. McConnell has yet to totally endorse that concept, saying Monday which he would check with fellow senators on there. But Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) signed on like a cosponsor of Schumers plan, and other Republicans signaled potential support.

I think Id maintain favor of naming almost any building for McCain, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters, but Im uncertain that we interest to make a selection at a specific building at this time.

Even though the late former Sen. Richard Russell (D-Ga.) is somebody who would have been a huge figure, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said, it is undoubtedly an era thats glided by. Speculating about potential opposition to the renaming, Corker quipped that I dont know that would choose to vote against naming a building after somebody that just passed.

The Foreign Relations chairman also offered a subtle jab at Trump when inquired on the White Houses come across honoring McCain while using the flag at half-staff.

I think we are focused on the nice of John McCain, and not just the pettiness of others, Corker said. Ill just let it stay at this.

John Bresnahan resulted in this report.

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