A new report that the White House asked the U.S. Navy to keep the USS John McCain warship “out of sight” during President Trump’s recent trip to Japan spurred shock and outrage on social media tonight, including from former Ohio Gov. John Kasich who told Trump to “grow up.”
The Wall Street Journal, citing a May 15 email from the White House to military officials, reported that a directive was given that “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight” from the landing deck of the USS Wasp, where Trump delivered a speech Monday (Tuesday, local time) at Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo.
On Monday, Trump delivered Memorial Day remarks to troops aboard the USS Wasp, which is stationed along with the USS John McCain at Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo.
Speaking to around 800 military men and women Trump said he was joined by sailors from six other ships.
He made no mention of the USS John McCain.
Before visiting the USS Wasp, Trump visited the helicopter carrier JS Kaga, from which the USS John McCain would have been visible.
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 with the president’s visit, a U.S. official said.
Trump had a notoriously poor relationship with the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was a frequent and vocal critic of him.
In 2016, Trump said McCain was “not a war hero” and “I like people who weren’t captured.”
Since McCain’s death last year, Trump has continued to attack and insult him.
According to the Journal, a tarp was hung over the name painted on the ship, which was damaged in a 2017 collision and is still being repaired, and a barge was moved to further block the ship’s name from sight.
A senior Navy official confirmed that he was aware someone at the White House sent a message to service officials in the Pacific requesting that the USS John McCain be kept out of the picture while the president was visiting.
That led to photographs taken Friday of a tarp obscuring the McCain name.
Sailors from the USS John McCain, who typically wear caps with the ship’s name on them, were reportedly given the day off when Trump visited.
In response, Meghan McCain called Trump a “child” who makes her “grief unbearable.”
Trump is a child who will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dads incredible life. There is a lot of criticism of how much I speak about my dad, but nine months since he passed, Trump won’t let him RIP. So I have to stand up for him.
It makes my grief unbearable. https://t.co/gUbFAla1VE
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) May 30, 2019
When senior Navy officials grasped what was happening, they directed Navy personnel who were present to stop, the senior official said.
Trump denied the report, tweeting, “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan.”
Before McCain’s death in August 2018, the U.S. Navy added the senator’s name to the ship, already named the USS John McCain after his father and grandfather, both admirals.
The ship is stationed in Tokyo, where it’s being repaired after a fatal crash in 2017.
Trump began attacking McCain during the presidential campaign when he said McCain wasn’t a war hero because he’d been captured.
McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years.
Trump received four draft deferments, due to bone spurs in his toes, to avoid wartime service during Vietnam.
Trump also blamed McCain for voting against a Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Trump often says the law would be gone if not for McCain, which isn’t true.
McCain did not want Trump at his funeral, but his presence was felt in the eulogies past presidents and friends gave.
Reaction on social media was swift:
Trump pettiness: The White House demanded the USS John McCain and its crew be “out of sight” for Trump’s visit to Japan.https://t.co/FxLJ9YWnAL
— VoteVets (@votevets) May 30, 2019
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) May 30, 2019
Every officer who went along with this in hiding the USS John McCain should be deeply ashamed of themselves. They hid the name of a P.O.W. + war hero to protect the fragile ego of a coward who received five draft deferments to avoid service. Infuriating. https://t.co/EUtbYacB7P
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) May 30, 2019
The White House wanted the US Navy to actually hide a war ship named for John McCain because Trump’s fragile little ego couldn’t take it and issued a directive via email that said, “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight.” https://t.co/XQTi4koAcQ
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) May 30, 2019
Trump wanted the USS John McCain “out of sight” for his visit to Japan. A tarp was hung over the ship’s name ahead of the trip.
But please, Meghan McCain, tell me again how much you hate Hillary.
— Denizcan Stark (@MrFilmkritik) May 30, 2019
Trump will never be able to erase John McCain from our history. He feels insecure in comparison. Can’t blame him. At most, he’ll get an inner-tube full of hot air, named for him.
White House Wanted USS John McCain ‘Out of Sight’ During Trump Japan Visit https://t.co/hyjJtxxz9S
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) May 30, 2019
I’ve visited the USS John S McCain and spoken with its crew – ten of whom died in a collision in 2017. They’re heroes and patriots, as were their ship’s namesakes, and should never be asked to stay out of sight. This is a disgraceful insult. https://t.co/WuiHDgRXKH
— Abraham M. Denmark (@AbeDenmark) May 30, 2019
.@SenJohnMcCain visiting the USS John S McCain, a destroyer named for his grandfather & father, the first father-son pair to achieve 4 star admiral rank, in Vietnam in 2017. 💕💕 https://t.co/Fxh9K5mzJr pic.twitter.com/W9iuSqg21A
— Julie Tarallo (@julietarallo) May 30, 2019
Ahead of his failed visit to Japan, Predator @realDonaldTrump made told our Navy to make sure the USS John McCain was hidden from his sight, including having a tarp put over the name of the Ship. What a pathetic, deranged, tyrannical, egocentric, insignificant piece of shit.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) May 30, 2019
It “seems to speak… to President Trump’s insecurity and vanity… if true… it sounds like one of the smallest, pettiest things I’ve heard.”@andersoncooper responds to report the White House wanted the USS John McCain “out of sight” during President Trump’s visit to Japan. pic.twitter.com/QA40V0DfBo
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) May 30, 2019
Attribution:The Wall Street Journal