Amid USS McCain Controversy, Pentagon Says Military Will Not Be Politicized
Amid USS McCain Controversy, Pentagon Says Military Will Not Be Politicized
Trump's feud with McCain continues, ship kept out of view
02 June, 2019, 21:01
Speaking on Meet The Press, Mulvaney said neither he nor the president was aware of the request but it was "not unreasonable" for "some 23- or 24-year-old person" who works in the White House advance team to call on the Navy to move the USS John S. McCain.
Trump tweeted Thursday that he was not informed about the controversy surrounding the USS John S. McCain during his visit to Japan. One White House staffer was concerned the mere sight of the vessel would irritate the president during his recent visit to Japan, and put in a request to the Navy to move it to a less conspicuous spot, but was refused.
Trump and McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, were frequently at odds before and during Trump's presidency. Last year, the Navy rededicated the ship to honor the senator as well.
"Mick Mulvaney and I apparently have totally different standards as to what's reasonable", one critic tweeted. "I really probably never will".
The warship, commissioned in 1994, was originally named for the senator's father and grandfather, both Navy admirals named John Sidney McCain.
The White House military office directed the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet to minimize the visibility of the USS John S. McCain, a warship bearing the name of Trump's former political rival, during a speech by the president in Japan last week.
The WSJ later reported that when senior naval officers became involved, efforts to hide the ship's name were suspended and the tarp was removed.
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Two Navy officials told CNN on Wednesday that the White House Military Office had asked lower-level US Navy officials about keeping the ship out of view - an impractical request as the ship was under fix, one of the officials said.
Trump told reporters Thursday that while he had had no knowledge of the plan nor would he have acted on it, he "is not a big fan" of McCain, and whoever was behind the plan was "well-meaning".
"How did the people receiving the information - how did they treat it", Shanahan said.
Asked if anyone would face discipline, he said that he will "wait until I get a full explanation of the facts before I'll pass judgment on the situation". He incensed Trump with his thumbs-down vote foiling the effort to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.
"I never authorized, I never approved any action around the movement or activities regarding that ship", Shanahan said. Navy Commander Clay Doss, spokesman for United States 7th Fleet, said the tarp was on the ship on Friday but was removed by Saturday morning, the day Mr Trump arrived in Japan. Shanahan said it was a private conversation, however, that he has not spoken to the President about the matter and that he will be having further conversations with officials about the request when he returns to Washington.
Two U.S. officials told AP that all the ships in the harbor were lined up for Trump's visit, and they were visible from the USS Wasp.
"Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn't like him, OK?" Sailors who typically wear caps with the ship's name were given the day off. He added that he still needs to gather more information about exactly what happened and what service members did. "That would give me an understanding on the next steps" to take.
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