Monday, August 27, 2018


Under pressure, the president backed down:
President Trump on Monday ordered the American flag to be flown at half-staff this week in honor of Sen. John McCain after intense criticism of his response to the Arizona Republican’s death.

The announcement came after the flag atop the White House was raised to full-staff earlier in the day, less than 48 hours after McCain’s family announced that the six-term senator had died Saturday at his home in Sedona, Ariz.

“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,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump does sometimes reverse course in response to intense criticism, but his course doesn't always stay reversed. Remember this reversal in July?
Blistered by bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed away from his public undermining of American intelligence agencies, saying he simply misspoke when he said he saw no reason to believe Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election....

“The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia’” instead of “why it would,” Trump said of the comments he had made standing alongside Vladimir Putin on Monday’s summit stage in Helsinki.
A few days later, Trump reversed himself again:
After a week of tortuous statements, walk-backs and clarifications on whether he thinks the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump appeared to have come full circle on Sunday night, dismissing the issue as "all a big hoax."

In an evening tweet shortly after taking off for Washington following a weekend spent at his golf club in New Jersey, Trump questioned why President Barack Obama did not inform his campaign or the public about alleged Russian interference before Election Day.

"So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election," Trump said. "Why didn't he do something about it? Why didn't he tell our campaign?"

Trump then went on to answer his own questions: "Because it is all a big hoax, that's why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!"
Maybe it won't happen, but I could easily see Trump telling his staff to "raise the fucking flag" one day between now and McCain's interment, just because McCain will be receiving laudatory news coverage all week and Trump won't. (If there's an outcry again, the White House will claim it was a mistake made by a low-lever staffer.)

I realize that this isn't as visceral an issue for Trump as Russia. Still, I think it's quite possible he'll go back on his word, because he's a sullen brat, and he doesn't like being compelled to do anything he doesn't want to do.

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