President Trump releases statement on passing of John McCain

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday released a statement following the death of John McCain.

The full statement read:

“Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, 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 honoring Senator McCain at the United States Capitol this Friday.

“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.

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

McCain died on Saturday at his home in Cornville, Arizona, at the age of 81.

McCain was a naval bomber pilot, prisoner of war, conservative maverick, giant of the Senate, twice-beaten presidential candidate and an abrasive American hero with a twinkle in his eye.

The Arizonan warrior politician, who survived plane crashes, several bouts of skin cancer and brushes with political oblivion, often seemed to be perpetually waging a race against time and his own mortality while striving to ensure that his five-and-a-half years as a Vietnam prisoner of war did not stand as the defining experience of his life.

He spent his last few months out of the public eye in his adopted home state of Arizona, reflecting on the meaning of his life and accepting visits from a stream of friends and old political combatants.

CNN reported in May that the McCains did not want Trump at his funeral. Former rivals and presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush had been asked to give eulogies, people close to both former presidents and a source close to the senator confirmed to CNN.

CNN contributed to this report.