The White House lowered its U.S. flag to half-staff on Sunday, three days after a police officer died from injuries suffered while fending off supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol building.
Trump later issued a proclamation directing that flags be lowered at all embassies, consular offices and U.S. facilities abroad, including military installations and naval vessels.
He called the action “a sign of respect for the service and sacrifice” of Capitol Police officers Brian Sicknick, who died on Thursday, and Howard Liebengood, whose death was announced on Sunday, as well as “all Capitol Police Officers and law enforcement across this great Nation.”
Trump had faced calls from lawmakers from both parties to take the step in honor of Sicknick after protesters, egged on by the president, invaded the seat of Congress in Washington. Trump made the decision independently, not because of pressure from advisers, a person familiar with the matter said.
President-elect Joe Biden has spoken with Sicknick’s brother, a presidential transition official said Sunday. Trump hasn’t contacted Sicknick’s family to offer condolences, the New York Times earlier quoted an unidentified aide to Vice President Mike Pence as saying.
Earlier Sunday, Representative Nancy Mace, a South Carolina Republican, said in a letter to Trump that Sicknick “laid down his life in protection of our democracy” and asked that the flag atop the White House be lowered to half-staff to match the one over the Capitol dome.
The White House flag was lowered in the early afternoon.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, earlier on Sunday ordered U.S. and Virginia flags to be flown at half-staff to honor Sicknick, a resident of the northern Virginia suburbs. Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Sicknick’s home state, issued a similar order.
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