In the wake of a controversy surrounding the United States Navy having been ordered to keep the warship U.S.S. John S. McCain out of sight (in an apparent effort to avoid upsetting the president), the Pentagon has expressed frustration with what is being described as the politicization of the military, ABC News reports.
As The Inquisitr detailed, President Donald Trump has said that whoever took the initiative to issue the order as part of his trip to Japan was “well-meaning,” and a copy of the recently infamous email detailing the orders has now been obtained.
“I was not a big fan of John McCain in any way, shape or form,” Trump said to reporters on the White House’s South Lawn. “Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him, OK? And they were well-meaning. I will say, I didn’t know anything about it. I would never have done that.”
The email itself, which was obtained by CNBC and confirmed by multiple sources, included a number of generally unremarkable tactical orders, as well as a very matter-of-fact directive about the ship.
“3. USS John McCain needs to be out of sight,” the order reads.
Elsewhere in the memo, there is another reference to the ship, asking that the reader to confirm that particular order would be carried out.
“Also, please confirm #3 will be satisfied,” it reads.
According to ABC News, the Pentagon has called out the White House for the incident, with a defense official claiming that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is now considering issuing formal guidelines to military units to head off similar controversies in the future.
Shanahan told reporters that he does not intend to pursue an investigation into what happened in Japan, considering that he says “there was nothing carried out” by the Navy in response to the order. He did indicate that more information was needed to see if any specific actions were taken, although it is clear that the ship itself was not moved.
Previous reporting has suggested that a boat was placed in front of the U.S.S. John S. McCain to obscure it from view, that the name itself was covered up, and that service members whose uniforms included a patch with the ship’s name were excused from the event that Trump attended.
“How did the people receiving the information — how did they treat it,” Shanahan said. “That would give me an understanding on the next steps [to take].”