As he nursed his perceived wounds, Mr. Trump dispatched the vice president to Minnesota to smooth over any tension with members of the American Legion, a wartime veterans service organization. That group expressed alarm at Mr. Trump’s decision to return the White House flag to full staff two days after Mr. McCain’s death, and was said to have been a factor in the decision to lower the flag back down through Mr. McCain’s interment.
Vice President Mike Pence told attendees at the group’s national convention that “America will always remember and honor the lifetime of service of United States Senator John McCain.”
After the attack-and-court-Washington-news-media portion of his day, Mr. Trump flew to this town in southern Indiana to attend one of his beloved political rallies, where he stumped for Mike Braun, a former state representative running for Senate. Mr. Braun will challenge Senator Joe Donnelly, one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the chamber, and spent most of his time at the rally lavishing praise on the president.
Since the campaign, the rallies have offered Mr. Trump instant gratification, reassurance and, perhaps most important, an opportunity to wrest back control of a narrative he has felt strayed too far away from him. He was particularly happy to get to Evansville this week, several people close to the president said. They said Mr. Trump, an avid follower of news headlines, was behaving as if he had been cornered, and was lashing out at the negative coverage of his administration.
By the time Mr. Trump opened the rally, he made it clear his mood had changed from defiant to rally-energized, delivering classic red-meat fare for his supporters. The event followed the usual recipe:
First, the president identified the city he was visiting. He thanked the “special” people of Evansville and Indiana, who greeted him with a “U.S.A.” chant.
Mr. Trump then added his economic accomplishments to the mix. This time, he expressed optimism for a revised trade deal with Canada, skimming over the trade talks with Mexico — a country he often jeers at these events — that took place this week.