The White House wanted the Navy to move a warship named for President Donald Trump's nemesis, the late Sen. John McCain, "out of sight" ahead of the president's visit to Japan last week, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In a May 15 email to U.S. Navy and Air Force officials, a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command official outlined plans for Trump's arrival in Japan over the Memorial Day weekend that included a directive ordering "USS John McCain needs to be out of sight," the Journal reported.
"Please confirm #3 will be satisfied," the official wrote.
According to the Journal, citing an unnamed official, Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan approved measures to ensure the ship did not interfere with the president's visit.
Another unnamed source noted the ship is being repaired after a 2017 collision, and any ship undergoing that kind of repair or maintenance would be hard to move, officials said.
Instead, a tarp was hung over the ship's name ahead of the president's trip, the Journal reported, citing photos it reviewed. And sailors were directed to remove any coverings from the ship that bore its name.
After the tarp was taken down, a barge was moved closer to the ship, obscuring its name, the Journal reported. In addition, sailors who typically wear caps bearing their ship's name were given the day off during Trump's visit, the Journal reported.
During his Japan trip, Trump spoke to around 800 military men and women and said he was joined by sailors from six other ships, but made no mention of the USS John McCain.
McCain's daughter, Meghan, reacted with furor — and grief — to the Journal report.
"Trump is a child who will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dads incredible life," she tweeted. "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."
But later Wednesday night, Trump denied it via Twitter.
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