An order to have a ship named for the late Senator John McCain hidden from view during Donald Trump’s recent visit to Japan was “not an unreasonable thing to ask”, the president’s chief of staff said on Sunday.
Mick Mulvaney made the startling claim even as it was reported that the Pentagon has told the White House to stop politicizing the military.
The US navy has confirmed reports about an internal email that said the White House military office wanted the USS John McCain kept “out of sight” when Trump was in Japan. The email was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
McCain died last year at 81, from brain cancer. The 2008 Republican presidential nominee remained fiercely at odds with Trump over his military service in Vietnam and Trump’s absence from that war, and over political matters including a healthcare overhaul that sunk on his vote in the Senate. Since McCain’s death, Trump has continued his attacks.
Trump said this week he knew nothing about the request to hide the ship named after McCain. But he also said: “Somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him, OK? And they were well-meaning, I will say.”