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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 1: Cindy McCain looks on as a joint military service casket team carries the casket of the late Senator John McCain following his funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral, September 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush delivered eulogies for McCain in front of the 2,500 invited guests. McCain will be buried on Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 1: Cindy McCain looks on as a joint military service casket team carries the casket of the late Senator John McCain following his funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral, September 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush delivered eulogies for McCain in front of the 2,500 invited guests. McCain will be buried on Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. will brief the media on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. EDT, in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973).  DAILY SCHEDULE: Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. brief the media at 10 a.m. EDT in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973). Both U.S. and foreign journalists without a Pentagon building pass must be pre-registered in the new Pentagon Visitor Management System to attend this briefing; plan on being escorted from the River Entrance Pedestrian Bridge or the Pentagon Metro Entrance Facility only. Please arrive no later than 45 minutes before the briefing; have proof of affiliation and photo identification. Please call 703-697-5131 for any questions and escort into the building. The briefing will also be streamed live on www.defense.gov/live.  Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis hosts an enhanced honor cordon welcoming Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu of Indonesia, to the Pentagon at 2:30 p.m. EDT on the steps of the River Entrance. All journalists desiring to cover the cordon must obtain a wristband from security screening. Journalists without a Pentagon facility access card must go through security screening at the base of the River Entrance Pedestrian Bridge, and will be escorted to the cordon from there. Security screening will begin at approximately 1:45 p.m. EDT; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification. Journalists with a Pentagon facility access card, and whom have entered the building prior to 1:30 p.m. EDT, may go through security screening at the River Entrance to obtain their wristband. All journalists wishing to cover the honor cordon, including those with a Pentagon facility access card, must be in place no later than 2:15 p.m. EDT. Once security screening has been initiated at the base of the bridge, all journalists entering the building via the bridge for any reason, including those with a Pen
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Programming note: For more on the late senator’s legacy, tune in to “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

(CNN) —  

President Donald Trump broke his closely watched silence on Sen. John McCain, tweeting his “deepest sympathies and respect” to the family of the senator after his death was announced on Saturday night.

“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!” Trump tweeted.

Prior to his tweet, Trump had not publicly acknowledged the rapidly declining health of McCain after his family announced Friday he would be discontinuing treatment for his brain cancer.

The President also posted the same message to his Instagram account. The accompanying photo, however, is not of McCain, but instead is of Trump.

In an email on Saturday evening, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders forwarded the President’s tweet to reporters. First lady Melania Trump also tweeted, “Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy to the McCain Family. Thank you Senator McCain for your service to the nation.”

And Vice President Mike Pence also tweeted his condolences, writing that he and second lady Karen Pence “honor his lifetime of service to this nation in our military and in public life. His family and friends will be in our prayers. God bless John McCain.”

Dan Scavino, Trump’s longtime social media director said the flags at the White House have been lowered to half-staff in honor of the late senator.

Trump’s re-election campaign released a statement Saturday night, saying, “All of us at the Trump Campaign offer our sincere condolences to the family of Senator John McCain following his passing this evening. We encourage all Americans to take the opportunity to remember Senator McCain and his family in their prayers on this sad occasion.”

McCain’s death was duly noted by both Democrats and Republicans in Washington and elsewhere, as well as celebrities and world leaders, who released statements and tweets in support of the Arizona Republican.

In a statement following McCain’s death, former President Barack Obama said, “Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did,” and that he and Michelle “Send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, announced plans to introduce a resolution to rename the Senate’s Russell office building after McCain – a nod to the deep, bipartisan friendships McCain amassed throughout his career in the Senate.

But a mention of McCain’s health was notably absent during a nearly hour-long speech by the President on Friday in Ohio.

Trump did, however, express support for the senator, a harsh critic of Trump, when his diagnosis was first announced last year.

“Senator John McCain has always been a fighter,” the President said in a statement at the time. “Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy, and their entire family. Get well soon.”

A White House official said Trump also called McCain following word of the senator’s diagnosis.

In recent months, McCain continued to criticize the President in a series of tweets and statements that showed that while he was ailing he had lost none of his appetite for the political fight. The senator repeatedly made clear that he saw Trump and his America First ideology as a departure from the values and traditions of global leadership that he saw epitomized in the United States.

CNN reported in May that the McCains did not want Trump at his funeral. Former rivals and Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush had been asked to give eulogies, people close to both former presidents and a source close to the senator confirmed to CNN.

As a presidential candidate, Trump, who did not serve in the military himself, attacked McCain’s record of service, saying the Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war is “not a war hero” because he was captured. Trump later acknowledged that McCain was a hero, but refused to apologize in subsequent interviews.

Earlier this month, Trump also did not mention McCain when thanking multiple members of Congress involved in passing the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act at a signing ceremony at Fort Drum, New York, despite the bill being named after the senator.

CNN’s Betsy Klein, Sarah Westwood and Stephen Collinson contributed to this report.