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Mulvaney Defends Request to Hide USS John McCain

He says it was 'not an unreasonable thing'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2019 1:25 AM CDT
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney listens as President Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Asking the US Navy to conceal a ship named after three generations of American war heroes to avoid potentially irritating the president was "not an unreasonable thing," according to Mick Mulvaney. The acting White House chief of staff told NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that it was "probably someone on the advance team" from the White House that asked the Navy to keep the USS John McCain out of sight during President Trump's visit to a naval base in Japan last week. "The fact that some 23- or 24-year-old person on the advance team went to that site and said 'Oh my goodness, there's the John McCain, we all know how the president feels about the former senator, maybe that’s not the best backdrop, can somebody look into moving it?' That's not an unreasonable thing," Mulvaney argued.

Host Chuck Todd apparently couldn't believe Mulvaney was trying to defend the request, Slate reports. "Seriously?" he asked. Mulvaney went on to say the person responsible for the request, which the Navy confirmed on Sunday, would not be fired. "The president's feeling towards the former senator are well known," he said. "They are well known throughout the office, they are well known in the media, but to think you're gonna get fired over this is silly." Later, on Fox News Sunday, Mulvaney said nobody would even be disciplined over the "minor issue." The USS John McCain, originally named after Sen. John McCain's father and grandfather, both Navy admirals, was rededicated last year to include the late senator. (Trump says he wasn't involved in the request.)

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