John McCain's service and he will lie in state in both the nation's capital and Arizona as part of a cross-country funeral procession ending with his burial at the U.S. Naval Academy, according to plans taking shape Sunday. John McCain, a day after he died following a battle with brain cancer.
In his first formal statement on McCain's death, President Donald Trump said that he respected McCain's service and had ordered the flags back down.
Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump's legal team and a longtime Republican strategist, said of Trump's reaction to McCain's death that "at a time like this, you would expect more of an American president when you're talking about the passing of a true American hero".
Trump had feuded with McCain for years, most notably in 2016 when Trump said McCain was "not a war hero" because he was captured by North Vietnamese soldiers.
A private memorial service will take place at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis prior to a private burial service at the academy ceremony.
The hawkish McCain was an unrelenting critic of Obama's foreign policy, saying the Democratic president was weak on Libya, Iraq and Syria.
The governor's appointee will represent the state through most of 2020, when there will be a special election to fill the rest of McCain's term, and Republicans close to Ducey indicated he is likely to pick a replacement who intends to run again rather than a caretaker to temporarily fill the seat. John McCain and praising him for a lifetime of service and accomplishments.
Some of Arizona's pro-Trump conservatives say that Ducey's top priority should be to appoint somebody who is unwaveringly loyal to the president. McCain served as a Navy pilot and, during Operation Rolling Thunder in the Vietnam War, his plane was shot down and he was seriously injured. On Saturday, his grave was marked where he had written he wanted to be buried - next to his best friend from his Naval Academy days, Adm. Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush were asked to give eulogies. On Capitol Hill, where McCain served in the Senate for more than 30 years, the flags remained at half-staff. Trump posted Saturday evening shortly after McCain's death was announced.
Trump's references to McCain in recent months were confined to contempt-filled moments at his political rallies when he would mimic the thumbs-down signal the senator had made when he voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act. On Sunday, an admiring tribute to McCain tweeted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democratic candidate for a NY congressional seat, was greeted by hundreds of vitriolic replies attacking the dead senator and branding Ocasio-Cortez a sellout and a panderer for praising him.
"That says all that we need to know about John McCain - that his opponents love, admire and respect him", Flake said during an emotional appearance on CNN's "State of the Union".