WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump ordered flags lowered to half-staff Tuesday, honoring the the victims of a Maryland newsroom that left five people dead.
The proclamation came five days after the shooting and followed criticism that he had missed an opportunity to recognize the First Amendment mission of those who died in the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper last Thursday.
The delay almost exactly mirrored Trump’s own criticism of President Barack Obama for waiting five days to sign a proclamation to honor victims of the Chattanooga recruiting center shootings in 2015.
“I’m glad President Obama followed my lead and lowered the flags half-staff. It’s about time!” Trump tweeted after lowering the flags on Trump Tower in Manhattan.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump made the decision Monday night, after hearing about a request from Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “I spoke with the mayor last night and again this morning to let him know the president’s decision,” she said.
Trump began his proclamation with a two-sentence preamble.
“Our Nation shares the sorrow of those affected by the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland,” Trump said in the proclamation. “Americans across the country are united in calling upon God to be with the victims and to bring aid and comfort to their families and friends.”
The proclamation orders flags at the White House and other federal buildings and ships to be lowered until sunset Tuesday.