President Donald Trump Addresses His Reaction to Senator John McCain's Death

President Donald Trump Addresses His Reaction to Senator John McCain's Death

President Donald Trump Addresses His Reaction to Senator John McCain's Death

Trump told Bloomberg on Thursday that he and McCain "had our disagreements and they were very strong disagreements".

Vice President Mike Pence is slated to attend but Trump is not, as McCain requested.

"Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED", he tweeted.

According to a report in The Washington Post, Trump issued that tweet in lieu of a complimentary official statement that White House aides, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, had prepared for the president shortly before McCain's death from an aggressive form of brain cancer.

After McCain's death on Saturday at age 81, Trump's responses have been heavily criticized.

Huckabee Sanders must be "having a nervous breakdown" over his response, Trump joked. "I have a very strong opinion, all right", teasing "maybe I'll give you that answer some day later".

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Additionally, over the weekend, Trump only offered a brief and impersonal statement on McCain's passing on Twitter and reportedly had to be pressured to make additional remarks.

The White House eventually returned the flag to half-staff under pressure from veterans groups and even some of its own staffers. "At the request of the McCain family, I have also authorized military transportation of Senator McCain's remains from Arizona to Washington, D.C., military pallbearers and band support, and a horse and caisson transport during the service at the United States Naval Academy".

Trump has not been invited to any of McCain's memorial services. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama were also asked to speak.

Trump and McCain clashed in recent years, with the clearest, earliest public example coming during the presidential campaign in 2015 when Trump said McCain, who was held captive in Hanoi during the Vietnam War for five years, was "not a war hero", adding, "I like people that weren't captured".

McCain is one of only 30 Americans to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

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