After Senator John McCain passed away on Saturday night, Donald Trump posted a half hearted tweet about him, and it was later reported that Trump had personally vetoed his White House’s attempt at releasing an official statement. Then it turned out Trump had found a whole new way to insult McCain’s legacy, and it involved the American flag. That stunt has now blown up in Trump’s face.
The American flag at the White House was initially lowered to half mast after John McCain’s death. Traditionally the flag would remain at half mast until ceremonies honoring McCain had played out. But by all accounts, earlier today, the flag at the White House had been raised back to full mast. This set off a torrent of criticism. By this afternoon, according to CNN’s Jim Acosta, the White House flag was back at half staff.
It’s not difficult to parse that Donald Trump, whose jealous resentment of John McCain has long been apparent, must have ordered the flag to be returned to full mast. As to why it was lowered again, there are two possibilities. The first would be that Trump bowed to the criticism, which is something that he very rarely does. The second would be that his own White House underlings went against his orders and re-lowered the flag themselves against Trump’s orders, which would be a symbolic mutiny on their part. In any case, Trump’s White House is now putting out a statement confirming that the flag will remain at half mast.
This has blown up in Donald Trump’s face. Now that the American flag at the Trump White House has been lowered in honor of John McCain, then raised to snub McCain, then lowered again after criticism, it’s only served to make Trump look weak and indecisive. Not only is he an ass, he’s incredibly inept at being an ass. This also severely undermines Trump’s argument that football players are in the wrong for kneeling before the flag to make a political statement.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report