Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told reporters Monday that Sen. John McCain “is partially to blame” for the White House flag-raising controversy in the days following the Arizona senator’s death.
Inhofe, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, described President Trump and McCain as “strong-willed people” but thought McCain’s harsh criticism of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign led to the disagreement concerning lowering the White House flag to half-staff.
“Well, you know, frankly, I think that John McCain is partially to blame for that because he is very outspoken. He disagreed with the president in certain areas and wasn’t too courteous about it,” Inhofe told CNN.
Trump initially ordered all White House flags lowered to half-staff on Saturday evening, the day of McCain’s death:
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) August 26, 2018
The president also penned a short tweet offering sympathies to the late senator’s family.
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!” Trump tweeted after McCain’s passing.
But on Monday morning, the flag had been raised to its original position, prompting pundits and media outlets to gawk at the White House’s short-lived McCain tribute.
CNN, for example, ran a headline stating, “White House flag at full-staff after short McCain tribute.”
HuffPost published a headline that read, “White House lowers flag to half staff as nation honors John McCain.”
USA Today announced, “White House flag flies high as Donald Trump disses John McCain.”
By late Monday afternoon, the flag atop the White House returned to its half-staff position.