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Trump Responds to Reports of Odd McCain Directive - Page 2

If a White House official ordered ship obscured, he was 'well-meaning,' says president
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2019 11:36 AM CDT

  • The allegations: The first report of the White House order came from the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post and the New York Times later confirmed the broad strokes, though with different details. The USS John McCain is docked at Yokosuku Naval Base, and the White House reportedly asked that it be "out of sight" when Trump visited. The ship, however, can't be moved because of ongoing repairs.
  • A tarp, a barge: The most tangible move to obscure the ship came when a tarp was used to cover its name, per the Journal and Post. Photos of that emerged on Friday, but Navy officials caught wind of what was happening and ordered the tarp removed on Saturday, before Trump's visit. The Journal also says a barge was positioned in front of the McCain ship, though it was moved before the president arrived.
  • The sailors: The Times reports that sailors from the ship were singled out and not invited to hear the president speak, and that those who showed up wearing the ship's insignia were turned away. However, the Post downplays this, reporting that the ship's crew was not invited because they had the day off for the Memorial Day weekend, along with sailors from another ship.
  • Different controversy: Some of the sailors who did hear Trump speak wore patches with an image of the president reading "Make Aircrew Great Again," as seen in this tweet from the Times. The Navy is looking into whether any uniform regulations were violated, reports Stars and Stripes.
  • Investigation: The Navy also is investigating whether anyone acted inappropriately in regard to the McCain ship, reports UPI. Acting Navy chief Patrick Shanahan says his chief of staff is looking into the reports.
  • A critic: In the Atlantic, Eliot Cohen writes that any Navy officials who agreed to the requests to cover up the ship "disgraced themselves and disgraced the oaths they took when they joined the service or became public officials." It's not only a matter of principle, he writes. "A service that tolerates sycophancy will get America’s sons and daughters killed."
(Meghan McCain doesn't want Democratic candidates invoking her father's name, either.)

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