President Donald Trump denied Wednesday night that he knew anything about a reported White House request that the military move the USS John S. McCain “out of sight” during his recent state visit to Japan.
The Wall Street Journal reported that it reviewed an email to Navy and Air Force officials dated May 15 that included the direction “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight.”
The Journal said that in response to the request, the Navy covered the ship — which has been under repair since it sustained a major collision in August 2017 — with a tarpaulin and that sailors who may have been required to wear ball caps with the ship’s name on it were given the day off.
And it said Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan was aware of the White House’s concern about Trump’s possible reaction to seeing the McCain “and approved measures to ensure it didn’t interfere with the president’s visit.”
Trump said early Wednesday evening on Twitter: “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan.”
I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan. Nevertheless, @FLOTUS and I loved being with our great Military Men and Women – what a spectacular job they do!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2019
SOURCE: Alex Johnson and Courtney Kube