President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday that he didn’t have anything to do with the military’s decision to obscure the name of the Navy ship USS John McCain during his trip to Japan. He said he wouldn’t have requested that, but he’s sure whoever did it was “well-meaning.”
According to The Hill, the president told reporters at the White House that he wasn’t aware that military leaders had decided to obscure McCain’s name on the USS John McCain in order to avoid offending him.
“I didn’t know anything about it. I would never have done that,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t involved. I would not have done that.”
That didn’t stop the president from attacking the late senator.
“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,” he said. “I think John McCain had a lot to getting President Bush, a lot to do with it, to go into the Middle East which was a catastrophe. To me, I was not a fan.”
“Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him. And they were well-meaning, I will say,” he concluded.
As The Inquisitr reported yesterday, White House staffers worked to find a way to make sure that the president didn’t see the name on the Navy warship. According to an email between staffers, there are specific instructions to ensure that the ship’s name was obscured.
An official with knowledge about the situation confirmed that the measure was approved of by acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and that Navy officials were aware of the request.
NEW: The White House wanted the USS John McCain “out of sight” for Trump’s visit to Japan. A tarp was hung over the ship’s name ahead of the trip, and sailors—who wear caps bearing the ship’s name—were given the day off for Trump’s visit. w/@gluboldhttps://t.co/6ugPceCOre pic.twitter.com/KuIoWJK5Kt— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) May 29, 2019
Images show a large sheet placed over the area where the ship’s name would normally be visible. Sources also said that the sailors serving on the ship normally wear caps with the ship’s name printed on them, but they were given the day off when Trump was present.
Two Navy officials confirmed that emails were sent between the White House and lower-level Navy officials about the situation, according to CNN.
“Once leadership heard about it, they said knock it off,” a senior Navy official said.
“We didn’t do anything to obstruct the name of the ship. The Wall Street Journal piece refers to a photo of a tarp covering the ship, that photo was taken Friday, May 24, the tarp was removed the following day,” a second U.S. Navy official said.