death of McCain into yet another political firestorm that was all about Trump.

The veterans group AMVETS also issued a statement calling the president's actions since McCain's death deeply disappointing.

Kelly, who was later announced as one of the administration's representatives at McCain's services, stood nearby.

And the presidential proclamation that would require flags on federal buildings lowered to half-staff was sent nearly two days after McCain's death.

The American Legion also reminded President Trump that he had issued proclamations commemorating the deaths of former first lady Barbara Bush and pastor Billy Graham, and that the same should be done to honor McCain. For the second straight day, Trump remained silent Monday about McCain: In three separate appearances at the White House, the president ignored questions from reporters about the late senator and his legacy.

It was not until almost 5 p.m. that Trump, via a written statement tweeted by his top spokeswoman, stated his "respect" for the late lawmaker.

As many flags around the nation remained at half-staff on Monday to mourn Senator John McCain, a Republican who had survived a Vietnam War prison camp and weathered the gradual coarsening of politics within his own party, the American flag flew at full-staff over the White House.

'Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country, ' Trump said. Davis discussed memorial arrangements planned for McCain and read a final letter from the two-time presidential candidate and war hero.

The move on Monday afternoon came after White House officials had raised the flag earlier in the day, and Trump ignored nearly a dozen shouted questions about McCain while White House staffers convulsed over his reaction. That prompted many Americans to lower flags to half-staff, a traditional gesture of honour.

Flags at some federal buildings were fully raised on Monday, far earlier than would normally be expected after such an event. We are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil.

"We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all corners of the globe".

"If John McCain can forgive the North Vietnamese torturers, we can at least forgive each other", Flake said.

"We weaken it when he hide behind walls rather than tear them down".

Retired Col. Tran Trong Duyet, who was in charge of the prison camp where McCain was taken after being shot down in Vietnam, said he came to admire McCain for his convictions and dedication to his country.

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