'Not blood and soil': McCain's farewell message to Americans criticizes Trump

Tom Williams via Getty Images

Tom Williams via Getty Images

The veteran actor and filmmaker will help to carry the coffin alongside a host of American political heavyweights, including ex-vice president Joe Biden and former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg. The White House had lowered its flag to half-staff on Sunday, but shortly after midnight, it was back at full staff, in a clear break with precedent - which dictates that it be lowered until burial - and the USA flag code.

Voters in Florida also go to the polls to pick candidates for November 6, when Democrats will try to pick up 23 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and two seats in the Senate to gain majorities and slam the brakes on Trump's legislative agenda. Plans taking shape called for McCain to lie in state Wednesday in the Arizona State Capitol on what would have been his 82nd birthday.

McCain was shot down over North Vietnamese enemy territory.

The White House also returned its flags to full-staff by Monday, ignoring tradition to keep flags at half-staff until the day of interment.

That prompted many Americans to lower flags to half-staff, a traditional gesture of honor.

He later told evangelical leaders that "we very much appreciate everything that senator McCain has done for our country".

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Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) had complimentary things to say about John McCain, but viewed the White House's indecision surrounding how long to fly the flag at half-staff unsurprising given the late senator's rocky relationship with President Donald Trump.

A final letter from Sen. At the same time, he said it would be Vice President Mike Pence and other officials who would represent the administration at McCain's funeral services. Trump initially tweeted condolences to McCain's family, but made no mention then of the Arizona Republican with whom he feuded for years. The enmity between Trump and McCain dates from the day the real estate tycoon announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination with an attack on Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists.

It took the President of the United States until late Monday to offer a word of tribute to McCain, after earlier offering only prayers for his family in a cursory tweet over the weekend. "But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake".

But President Donald Trump, who had clashed with fellow Republican McCain over various issues and said during his campaign that the senator was "not a war hero", wavered in his approach to what presidents normally treat as a gesture of courtesy and respect. The tributes singled out McCain's military service and heroism as a POW and his independence as a political leader.

Mr. Trump's initial silence about Mr. McCain underscored the isolation of the USA leader and fueled criticism that he is incapable of bringing a divided nation together even as it mourns a man widely seen as an American hero and a political icon.

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