This time, both FLOTUS and the VP will have to do without the plane, as Trump has agreed to lend it to the McCain family for the somber occasion. The announcement comes from POTUS himself, after heavy criticism for his apparent failure to address McCain’s death publicly.
“At the request of the McCain family, I have also authorized 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,” Trump says in the statement, as cited by CNN.
He adds, “Finally, I have asked General John Kelly, Secretary James Mattis, and Ambassador John Bolton to represent my Administration at his services.”
This is typical Trump doublespeak / alternate truth. Trump won’t be at the funerals because McCain specifically asked that he not be invited, months ago, while he was still receiving treatment for his cancer. Sarah Palin, McCain’s former running mate, is also being banned from attending, according to reports online.
As it’s probably well known, there was never any love lost between Trump and McCain. During the Presidential race, Trump went on the record saying that McCain was not a “true” war hero since he allowed himself to be captured in Vietnam. Real heroes don’t get caught, he said, to much public outcry.
More recently, after the Senator’s death, Trump refused to address the issue in any way during his public appearances and even returned the White House flag to full-staff after saying it would fly half-staff in his honor. He seems to want to do the right thing in the 11th hour, with the plane.