It's the standard Washington Protocol – a member of Congress dies, and the flags on official buildings are flown by half of the staff. That's what happened when John McCain died on Saturday.
But the first thing on Monday morning was when the White House flag was full again, and soon followed by a barrage of bitter criticism, with critics – including the American Legion – the fleeting tribute as a sign of the pettiness of President Trump.
He had refused to pronounce McCain's name earlier this month when he wrote the defense policy called for the Senator. He had rejected suggestions over the weekend that he would give an explanation for McCain's death. And now he refused to follow the tradition of leaving the flag on a half staff until the funeral.
Then suddenly on Monday afternoon, the flag was back at half staff and the President made a statement that McCain offered "respect"
At the end of the day, it became clear that the President was in his stubborn defiance of the Protocol's death By McCain had made single-handedly to another political firestorm, which referred to Trump.
"It's all a self injured wound, especially the flag," said Ari Fleischer, who worked as a White House press secretary under President George W. Bush. "The ceremonial things, the traditional things that hold many people together ̵
Trump added, Fleisher added, "too often this line in a way that hurts itself because it thinks it hurts others."
The events of the day were conveyed by a letter read out by McCain's longtime advisor underscored in which the Arizona Republican scolded Trump diagonally in front of the grave.
Trump is not expected to attend McCain's funeral or memorial service in Washington, a White House official said. Vice President Pence will speak at a Friday ceremony in the US Capitol Rotunda. Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Advisor John Bolton will represent the government at McCain's private funeral on Sunday at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
In his statement on Monday, Trump wrote: Despite our differences in politics and politics, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country and have signed a proclamation in his honor that shows half the USA flag until the day of his funeral. "
After McCain's death on Saturday at age 81, Trump had initially given condolences to the Senator's family in a tweet that did not mention McCain's famous military service and on Capitol Hill – a stark contrast to the lavish praise for McCain
It was followed by nearly two full days of silence from the President, who ignored nearly a dozen shouted questions about McCain from reporters at three separate White House events on Monday while tweeting across a wide range of other topics, from Tiger Woods to Trump has said that McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, was "not a war hero" and the longtime senator during his stay in Mexico.
Trump's silence reflected the bitter years of struggle between the two men The fight against brain tumors continued to be restrained.
McCain, on the other hand, did not pull any shots Ege criticized the President in foreign policy and other issues, most recently in a fierce indictment of Trump's summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that Trump had rejected the advice of top aides, an official statement praising the decorated Vietnam war prisoners for his military and senatorial service and calling him a "hero."
On Monday morning, images of the flag over the White House at Fullmast – and beyond, the Washington Monument, which was surrounded by flags, all at half-mast, blazed across the country's television and computer screens. The criticism was not far away.
The American Legion, a veteran organization, issued a stern statement in which she called on Trump to treat McCain with more awe.
"On behalf of the two million American Legion war veterans I urge you to make an appropriate presidential statement that notes Senator McCain's death and legacy of service to our nation, and that our nation's flag is half occupied by his internment "said Denise Rohan, national commander of the group.
Several government officials said Trump was frustrated with the TV coverage and felt besieged – that nothing he said about McCain would be enough. Trump also suggested to the counselors that many of those who speak on television are just looking for reasons to attack him, and that some of the same people who praise McCain do not like the senator.
But among those named McCain was Ivanka Trump, Trump's daughter and adviser to the White House, who on Monday called the deceased Senator "an American patriot who served our country with distinction for more than six decades"  "The nation is united in its mourning and the world mourns the loss of a true hero and a great statesman" said the first daughter in remarks at a meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington.
Trump told consultants over the weekend that McCain would not be praised, because he did not feel that way. "Everyone knows we do not like each other," said the president, a White House official who spoke to him said.
However, after speaking to a number of close advisers on Monday, including Bolton, Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – all of whom urged him to clean up the mess – the President went down ,
Trump wrote much of Monday's statement, White House officials said, and wanted to express that he disagreed with McCain over politics and politics.
Later, at a White House dinner celebrating evangelical leaders, Trump said that "our hearts and prayers" were with McCain's family and announced the events planned in honor of the Senator.
"We really appreciate everything Senator McCain has done for our country," said Trump.
Trump's proclamation came hours after an emotional press conference in Phoenix attended by McCain's longtime advisor and Fam Rick Davis's spokesman read a senator's farewell statement that contained a veiled criticism of the president. In the letter, McCain did not name Trump, but called on Americans to assemble behind the founding principles of the country instead of hiding behind walls and being subject to political tribalism.
"We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries, resentment, hatred and violence in every corner of the world," McCain wrote in the letter. "We weaken it when we hide behind walls instead of tearing them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trusting them to be the great force for change."
Trump pledged to build a wall across the US border with Mexico and force Mexico to pay for it.
McCain's explanation also referred a bit to the populist and protectionist forces that brought Trump to the office, McCain could not win twice.
"We are citizens of the largest republic in the world, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil," wrote McCain. "We are blessed and a blessing to humanity as we uphold and advance these ideals at home and in the world."
White racists marching in Charlottesville last year called "Blood and Soil," a translation of a Nazi slogan. Trump seemed to be defending the demonstrators who collided with counter-demonstrators when he said there were "good people on both sides."
On Monday, the Senate convened for the first time since McCain's death on the Capitol. Inside the chamber, the wood desk McCain had occupied for six months was black. A vase of white flowers had been placed on top.
One by one, McCain's colleagues rose to bleak honors. Among them was Sen. Jeff Flake (R), McCain's younger Arizona colleague, who swayed with emotion as he spoke of the legacy of the late Senator.
"If John McCain can forgive the North Vietnamese torturers, we can at least forgive each other," Flocke said.
Yet it was Trump's actions that dominated the conversations between senators and reporters in the marble corridors just outside the chamber.
"I do not know why the government had lowered the flag for such a short period of time," said Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). "It seems to me it would be appropriate to keep the flag at half-mast until Senator McCain has been buried."
Asked if Trump had his personal views on paying McCain proper attention, Collins replied "It certainly looks like this."
Some Trump allies, including Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Suggested that the dust cloud explode disproportionately. Both Trump and McCain are "two of the most stubborn people I've ever met," Inhofe said, arguing that if McCain had been the White House, he would have acted much like Trump.
"When the tables have been turned It's the same with McCain – the flag is lowered, so he does it with respect, but everyone knows they did not get along," Inhofe said.
Other legislators decided to completely circumvent the issue.
"I'm not going to deal with that," said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo) when asked about Trump's new flag. "What I'm going to say this week is about John McCain and his legacy and lifelong service for him this country. You can enter the fight between the President and John McCain. I will not do it.
The various opinions on Capitol Hill were themselves symbolic of America's "three hundred and twenty-five headstrong, vocal individuals" described by McCain in his letter, and the Arizona Republican commented, "We've always had a lot
"If we just remember and give each other the advantage of presumptuousness that we are all our dear country, we will go through these difficult times," he wrote. "We are becoming stronger than to get through it first. We always do that.
Anne Gearan, Gabriel Pogrund and Avi Selk contributed to this report.