McCain and Trump: A pugilistic relationship to the end

But in the hours after McCain’s family announced Friday that he was discontinuing medical treatment – and as tributes streamed in from across the political spectrum – Trump couldn’t bring himself to execute one of the simplest responsibilities expected of his office: offering consideration for a prominent public servant.

In that time, Trump provided neither words nor gestures, and the White House struggled with how to explain the awkwardness around not demonstrating reverence for the six-term senator, former Republican presidential nominee and decorated war hero.

The silence pointed to the strained relationship between the GOP stalwart and the man who has taken over the party. Trump administration officials had said they were taking their cues from the president, who they didn’t expect to bring up McCain after Friday’s announcement about his treatment, at least not until his death, as he ultimately did.