Donald Trump didn't want the White House to release a statement praising the life of John McCain
Sen. John McCain (R), Donald Trump -- AFP/Gage Skidmore via Flickr

President Donald Trump tweeted his "sympathies" to one of his greatest political foes Saturday. However, when it came to remembering the life of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Trump drew the line.

"My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!" he said.

But according to The Washington Post, the president didn't want to release a statement on the death.

"Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and other White House aides advocated for an official statement," The Post said Sunday. They'd hoped to honor the decorated Vietnam War POW for his years of service to the nation in the Senate and call him a "hero."

But according to current and former White House aides, "Trump told aides he wanted to post a brief tweet instead, and the statement praising McCain’s life was not released."

The original plan was to release a statement that was drafted before McCain passed. Sanders and other edited the final version so that it would be ready.

The White House press poll emailed the text of the tweet and no other statement has been emailed to press.

“It’s atrocious,” said Mark Corallo, who once served as a spokesperson for Trump’s legal team. “At a time like this, you would expect more of an American president when you’re talking about the passing of a true American hero.”

Former President Barack Obama released a touching tribute to his former political rival Saturday.

“John McCain and I were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds, and competed at the highest level of politics,” Obama said in the statement. “But we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed.”

"Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John's best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their familiy," Obama closed.