What all that means is that when you sit back on a Friday afternoon to write a reflection on the week that was, you are almost always writing about Donald Trump. Not just because he is president, but because he goes out of his way to make as much news as possible, to always be the center of attention.
This week was, in theory, going to be an exception to that rule. John McCain’s death over the last weekend meant that the week would almost certainly be focused on the remarkable life of the late Arizona senator. With memorial services in Arizona and Washington, and a funeral service set for Saturday at the Naval Academy, it seemed like this was a week where Donald Trump might take a backseat — and rightly so.
That’s not exactly how things turned out.
On Monday, sharp observers noticed that the flags flying over the White House, which had been flying at half-staff over the weekend to honor McCain, had been returned to full-staff on Monday morning. After a day spent equivocating and taking loads of incoming criticism from all over the political spectrum, the White House announced late Monday that flags would fly half staff over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue all the way until McCain’s burial on Saturday.
On Thursday, a Bloomberg reporter asked Trump whether he regretted that kerfuffle — given McCain’s service to the country, in both war and elected office. “No, I don’t think I did at all,” Trump replied. “I — I’ve — I’ve done everything that they requested, and no, I don’t think I have at all. You know, we had our disagreements and they were very strong disagreements. I disagreed with many of the things that I assume he believed in. But with that being said, I respect his service to the country.”
Suddenly, Trump was the story — or at least a major part of the story. Which, of course, is how Trump wants it. Of course, accomplishing a goal isn’t the same thing as showing grace and class.
And now, the week that was in 24 headlines: