The President insisted Thursday that he handled John McCain’s death appropriately — even though he ordered flags raised to full staff the day after the Republican war hero passed away and didn’t issue a statement about him until two days later.
“I’ve done everything that they requested,” Trump told Bloomberg News during an Oval Office interview.
Asked if he had missed an opportunity to unite the country in the wake of McCain’s Saturday death from brain cancer, Trump demurred.
“I don’t think that I did at all,” he said. “I don’t think I have at all.”
Tributes pour in for Sen. John McCain
Tributes pour in for Sen. John McCain
Arizona Sen. John McCain's family announced on Friday, August 24, 2018 that he had discontinued medical treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer.
**Click through the following slides to see how politicians and well-known figures are paying tribute to him.**
(Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
John McCain personifies service to our country. The whole House is keeping John and his family in our prayers during this time.
I love my husband with all of my heart. God bless everyone who has cared for my husband along this journey. https://t.co/v27sEbboii
Very sad to hear this morning’s update from the family of our dear friend @SenJohnMcCain. We are so fortunate to ca… https://t.co/B2hNCUeEHW
Today, we received the sad news of @SenJohnMcCain’s decision. Courageous and heroic as ever. A national treasure. O… https://t.co/yGl0h0tqVa
To @SenJohnMcCain: Thank you. Thank you with all of my heart for your commitment to our country, your inspiration,… https://t.co/LHC3ZUTNdf
God bless John McCain, his family, and all who love him — a brave man showing us once again what the words grace an… https://t.co/6vnvicltPy
Prayers for @SenJohnMcCain and his family at this most trying time 🙏🏻 May comfort and peace envelope them. May my f… https://t.co/3kd8O59s68
No man this century better exemplifies honor, patriotism, service,
sacrifice, and country first than Senator John M… https://t.co/4lVX9otX1O
John McCain is going to finish the race the way he has done everything in his life, his way and on his terms. May G… https://t.co/0cwjppGGry
I’m praying for @SenJohnMcCain and his family during this time. Our nation continues to be grateful for his lifetim… https://t.co/8vwpUURChJ
Heartbreaking news this morning about my friend @SenJohnMcCain. Please join me in saying a prayer for John,… https://t.co/VRm4LohIcv
Sad to hear that @SenJohnMcCain has stopped medical treatment, but no one can deny his faithful service to our nati… https://t.co/hnrEvdFZvl
We are praying for you every day, John. We love you. Thank you for your courage, and for your extraordinary service… https://t.co/Tfx6CQG74Q
My thoughts and prayers are with Senator McCain and his family. https://t.co/cqHXdjJntj
God bless and keep this wonderful man and his family @SenJohnMcCain
Our prayers are with John and the wonderful McCain family today. https://t.co/ufEuUkKhT3
I just want to acknowledge the continuing and abiding love, care, and dedication that Cindy McCain and the family a… https://t.co/JJ2p9rHhCp
The entire McCain clan is doing exactly what the McCains have done through generations — rise to the meet the challenge.
Elizabeth and I are saddened to hear the news about our friend, John McCain. John is a great American hero who has… https://t.co/XnugFmmGwJ
.@SenJohnMcCain is an American hero. Angela and I send our prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy and the entire McCain f… https://t.co/NkqlzziXP7
Senator McCain is a friend and hero. God bless him and his family. https://t.co/Dyel4eBvjS
One of the true honors of my life has been having @SenJohnMcCain as a friend & mentor. He’s a true American hero. H… https://t.co/NinmhEX9Bp
Sending my prayers to @SenJohnMcCain and his family. Nobody fights harder than the Maverick.
Amazed at the unwavering strength of my friend and colleague, @SenJohnMcCain. My thoughts and prayers are with John… https://t.co/Jw67rvFY6H
May the prayers and affection of his country, and of friends around the world, surround John and his beloved family… https://t.co/UeKiOIOpF9
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In the same interview, Trump stunned his own press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, after refusing to say whether he believes McCain would have been a better President than Barack Obama.
“I don’t want to comment on it,” Trump said. “I have a very strong opinion, all right.”
Sanders glared at the President, at which point he joked she was “having a nervous breakdown” over his response.
“Maybe I’ll give you that answer some day later,” Trump said.
This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.