After criticism, Trump honors McCain’s service to country

WASHINGTON (AP) — Following criticism from veterans and others, President Donald Trump broke his near-silence to recognize the late Sen. John McCain’s “service to our country” and ordered flags at the White House lowered in honor of his fellow Republican.

Before Trump’s statement Monday afternoon, his only commentary on McCain’s death last Saturday had been a perfunctory tweet after the death was announced. The lack of a formal statement — combined with the fact that White House flags had been flown at half-staff only briefly — had drawn strong criticism from Republicans and veterans’ groups as well as Democrats.

Later, at an evening dinner honoring evangelical leaders, Trump said “our hearts and prayers” are going to the McCain family “and we very much appreciate everything that Senator McCain has done for our country.”