Critics lambasted President Barack Obama for not taking the initiative to lower the flags to half-staff at the White House. The Capitol was the first to have their flags flown at half-staff and immediately alerted the White House about it.
Before the flag was lowered, Mac Thornberry, house armed services committee chairman, said Mr. Obama should follow Capitol’s lead in ordering the flags to half-staff throughout the country and “he should do so immediately,” a report from CNN says.
Flags were lowered to half-staff in the U.S. Capitol and the White House on Tuesday to pay tribute to five slain members of the U.S. service in Chattanooga last week. The White House’ flag was lowered after being urged by Republican critics.
Republican Senator and presidential contender Ted Cruz on Tuesday posted a photo on Twitter captioned as “Capitol’s flag at half-staff today to honor the servicemen killed by a terrorist in Chattanooga. Meanwhile at the WH.”
Joining the discussion was another GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump who announced the U.S. flags at his corporate properties would be lowered to half-staff.
“It is a simple yet meaningful and important gesture that signifies our respect and recognition for these great soldiers who lost their lives. We must do better for all Americans, especially our military. We must Make America Great Again,” CNN quoted Trump’s statement.
House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement, honoring the sacrifices made by the murdered marines. “Out of respect for their courageous and sacrifice to our nation, flags at the U.S. Capitol are being lowered to half-staff,” the senator said.
But flags at the White House continued to be in full-staff following Boehner’s announcement. It was reported that Boehner alerted the White House that the Capitol would be lowering its flags.
“I don’t have more information about the status of the flag over the White House,” Press Secretary of the White House Josh Earnest said as quoted by CNN, which also reports that after Republican critics demanded that the White House should follow Capitol’s lead, President Barack Obama ordered for the flags to fly at half-staff.