The way President Donald Trump handled Sen. John McCain’s death was “disturbing,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Thursday.
“It bothers me greatly when the president says things about John McCain. It pisses me off to no end. And the way he handled the passing of John is just — it was disturbing,” Graham said, appearing on CBS News on Thursday morning.
McCain, a Vietnam War hero, died of brain cancer over the weekend after serving three decades in the Senate. Graham (R-S.C.) was among his closest friends in the Senate.
Trump had a tense relationship with McCain that dated back to the 2016 presidential campaign. When the Arizona Senator died, Trump was reluctant to issue a White House statement offering condolences to his family. Instead, he posted a short tweet that did not mention McCain’s decades of service.
The American flag at the White House had been lowered to half-staff in McCain’s honor after his death on Saturday. But the flag was raised to its full height on Monday, igniting a firestorm of criticism. For the deaths of high-ranking officials, the flag will remain at half-staff until the burial.
Among Trump’s critics was Graham, who has a warm relationship with the president. Although he did not call Trump directly, Graham told CBS News he “called some people around him” over the flag issue. Later in the day Monday, the flag was lowered to half-staff and the White House released a statement honoring McCain.
“We finally got it right,” Graham said. “I am not going to give up on the idea of working with this president. The best way I can honor John McCain is to help my country.”