President Donald Trump kept to the background last week during the ceremonies honoring the late Sen. John McCain, but he ensured that McCain’s body was treated with respect.
Trump signed off on allowing the Arizona Republican to make his final trip to Washington on a Boeing C-32A, which would be officially called “Air Force Two” in its usual role of ferrying the vice president. The plane is also used at times by the first lady.
In reporting on the arrival of McCain’s body, WUSA in Washington described “the familiar state blue and white aircraft Thursday, a symbol of American power serving presidents, vice presidents and first ladies for 20 years.”
In a statement issued Aug. 27, Trump said he had acted in response to the late senators’ survivors.
“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 said in the statement, as distributed by The Associated Press.
— Christina Cantu 🇺🇸 (@Woke49erGirl) August 30, 2018
In an interview with Bloomberg, he said he’d accommodated the McCains as much as he could.
“I’ve done everything that they requested,” he said.
Trump also allowed members of the armed services to serve as pallbearers at McCain’s funeral. At McCain’s request, Trump did not attend the ceremony.
McCain’s family members used the C-32A on Thursday afternoon to journey with the former Vietnam War POW who became a legendary U.S. senator.
GOOD TRUMP: President Lends Air Force Two To McCain Family To Bring Body Of Senator To D.C. https://t.co/Dqdp8VVl58
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) September 2, 2018
Joseph Curl, writing for The Daily Wire, noted that despite Trump’s gesture in the McCain family’s time of grief, he was still the target of a jab from Meghan McCain, the senator’s daughter, during his funeral.
“We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness — the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served,” she said.
“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” she added.
To Curl, the bottom line was simple. “No good deed goes unpunished,” he wrote.
Other Americans took note as well.
President Trump respected John McCain’s wish & avoided his funeral. Trump sent condolences to his family & resisted any reflections on past disagreement. And Trump let McCain’s family fly his casket & themselves to DC on Air Force Two. Wow @meghanmccain you are an embarrassment.
— Jeff Briscoe (@jeffbriscoe) September 2, 2018
In its reporting, Arizona Central noted that the plane used to bring McCain on his final journey did a similar honor for another American veteran.
“In 2001, this plane transported the body of United States Marine and Central Intelligence Agency Operations Officer Johnny Michael Spann. He was the first American killed in combat during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan,” the paper reported.
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