Donald Trump has said often that he was “not a fan” of the late Sen. John McCain, but he is a fan of the Wall Street Journal. He’s retweeted their more flattering editorials about him many times and praised them for being the anti-“fake news.” When the Journal printed a story on Wednesday saying that the USS John McCain was ordered to be kept hidden during Trump’s trip to Japan, the president had little defense other than to insist he had nothing to do with that during a Thursday morning press briefing on the South Lawn of the White House.
CNBC reports that Trump said:
‘I wasn’t involved. I would not have done that. I was very angry with John McCain because he killed health care. I was not a big fan of John McCain in any way, shape or form. Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him, okay? And they were well-meaning. I will say, I didn’t know anything about it. I would never have done that.’
The Journal printed copies of an email exchange showing that directions for covering the Navy ship were definitely given, although all top officials are insisting that the directive did not come from them. However, it’s clear that someone knew the name of the late Arizona senator would irritate Trump and the ship and crew were kept out of sight during Trump’s visit.
‘Trump’s second denial came after The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the White House wanted the Navy to move the ship named for the late Arizona senator, as well as his father and grandfather, “out of sight,” citing an email between military officials. Trump initially denied any knowledge of the effort in a tweet Wednesday night.’
Two sources confirm to @CNBC that this is the email showing coordinated efforts to put the USS John McCain “out of sight.”
The Pentagon maintains that Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan was unaware of such plans. (H/T @RyanRuggiero) pic.twitter.com/adaZKtp1oE
— Amanda Macias (@amanda_m_macias) May 30, 2019
Trump insists that the feud between the two began with McCain’s vote on the Affordable Care Act, but the two had their issues well before that time. Trump, most notably, said that McCain was “not a war hero” during his 2016 presidential election campaign and that he preferred “people who weren’t captured.” McCain and his family declined to invite Trump to the senator’s funeral, as well.
‘The Journal said a tarp was hung over the ship’s name ahead of Trump’s trip and that sailors were directed to remove coverings from the destroyer that bore the McCain name. The newspaper also said sailors assigned to the ship, who generally wear caps bearing its name, were given the day off during Trump’s visit to the nearby USS Wasp.’
Although he was never a "fan" of the late John McCain, President Trump says he "would have never" asked military to hide USS John McCain during his Japan visit https://t.co/Rth2KUL8CZ pic.twitter.com/RZjCRWxjLN
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 30, 2019
Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan also insists that he had nothing to do with the directive, but the Journal says that this is untrue. In fact, he is who approved it and was well aware that the ship would be covered and the crew given the day off.
‘I’d never disrespect the young men and women that crew that ship. I’ve asked my chief of staff to look into the matter … and as soon as I find out more about this I’ll let you know.’
Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan was aware of the concern about the presence of the USS John McCain in Japan and approved measures to ensure it didn’t interfere w/Trump’s trip, a U.S. official said.https://t.co/6ugPceCOre
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) May 29, 2019
Featured image screenshot via YouTube