One of the late Sen. John McCain’s colleagues in the Senate apportioned some of the blame for Monday’s White House flag controversy to the Arizona Republican.
“Frankly, I think 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,” Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., told reporters on Capitol Hill, according to CNN. “So that’s one thing about John McCain and the president – both very strong-willed people.”
Sen. Inhofe, a senior member on Senate Armed Services, told reporters McCain was “partially to blame” for the controversy over the WH flag, saying it was a result of his public spat w/ Trump. Otherwise, Inhofe was highly complimentary of McCain, called him “my hero” pic.twitter.com/QdcL0Xpt91
— Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) August 27, 2018
The White House lowered the flag that flies on top of the building to half-staff Monday afternoon following widespread backlash. The White House had returned the flag to full-staff earlier in the day.
The backlash, directed at President Trump, came after a report said the president refused to refer to McCain, who died on Saturday, as a “hero” in an official statement marking his passing from brain cancer at the age of 81.
The White House acted in accordance with federal code that orders flags be lowered on the day of and the day after the death of a member of Congress. It is customary, however, for the sitting president to disseminate a proclamation calling for flags to be flown at half-staff until the lawmaker is laid to rest.
Although Inhofe described McCain as a “hero,” he added that he was undecided on whether to support a congressional push to have Russell Senate Office Building renamed in honor of the six-term senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee.
“I’m not sure that’s a real good idea, but I haven’t taken a position on that yet,” he said, Fox News reported.
Inhofe, a Trump ally, is said to be in line to succeed McCain as the next chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
He took to Twitter shortly after McCain died to praise “his legacy of service and sacrifice.”
“John was a fighter for the causes he cared about and for the American people. He will be missed,” Inhofe tweeted.
John was a fighter for the causes he cared about and for the American people. He will be missed. Read my full statement below. pic.twitter.com/w2YOG0rcZz
— Jim Inhofe (@JimInhofe) August 26, 2018