After receiving ample criticism for refusing to keep the American flag at half-mast to commemorate the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), President Donald Trump’s White House finally issued a statement addressing the latter’s passing. Even so, the late senator’s final statement, which was published on Monday in accordance with his wishes, seemingly took one final swipe at the former Republican presidential candidate who sullied his military service record.
The statement, which was released to the press by Rick Davis, McCain’s former presidential campaign manager and spokesperson, begins with an address for his “fellow Americans” and, specifically, his constituents in Arizona. “Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead.” However, what especially took commentators and analysts by surprise was the statement’s sixth paragraph, which contained allusions to Trump and his administration’s policies:
“We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.”
Of course, McCain’s final statement does not directly address Trump and his White House staff, nor does it mention the president’s name at all. Even so, the intention behind its “walls” comments is abundantly clear.