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Despite differences, I respect McCain – Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump has released a statement on the death of John McCain after reports emerged that he rejected White House statement praising the late senator.

Mr Trump, in a statement issued by the White House, said in spite of the differences he had with Mr McCain, he respected his service to the country, while U.S. flags flying at full-mast at White House has been lowered.

“Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honour, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.

“I have asked Vice President Mike Pence to offer an address at the ceremony honouring Senator McCain at the United States Capitol this Friday.

“At the request of the McCain family, I have also authorised military transportation of Senator McCain’s remains from Arizona to Washington, D.C., military pallbearers and band support, and a horse and caisson transport during the service at the United States Naval Academy.

“Finally, I have asked General John Kelly, Secretary James Mattis, and Ambassador John Bolton to represent my Administration at his services,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump, in a tweet on Saturday evening said: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

The Republican Senator representing Arizona since 1982, died on Saturday at the age of 81, after battling brain cancer.

The flag at the White House was flying at half-staff on Saturday night to honour the death of Mr McCain, but was at full-staff on Monday before his internment, drawing strong criticisms from many quarters.

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