Firestorm over ‘cover-up’ of USS John McCain while POTUS visited Japan: Trump, Meghan & Navy sound off!

image from .mil article https://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/994711/uss-john-s-mccain-conducts-routine-south-china-sea-patrol/
The USS John S. McCain (DDG56) Credit: US Navy, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Madailein Abbott

The McCain-Trump rivalry continues to fuel controversy.

Wednesday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that the White House was the source of a May 15 email to Navy and Air Force officials requesting that the USS John S. McCain be moved “out of sight” from the deck of the USS Wasp before the President’s recent visit to Japan.

President Trump responded with a tweet denying any knowledge of the request, saying: “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan. Nevertheless, @FLOTUS and I loved being with our great Military Men and Women – what a spectacular job they do!”


The WSJ story claims that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was aware of and approved measures to be sure the ship or its name would not be visible from the deck of the Wasp, where the President would deliver Memorial Day remarks and visit with troops. However, Shanahan’s spokesperson Joe Buccino said that the Defense Secretary “was not aware of the directive to move the USS John S McCain nor was he aware of the concern precipitating the directive.”

Tellingly, in contrast to the claim that SecDef ordered or approved the request, the ship was not moved, nor was the name of the ship obscured.

The U.S. Navy Chief of Information tweeted, “The name of USS John S. McCain was not obscured during the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day. The Navy is proud of that ship, its crew, its namesake and its heritage.”

NBC’s Katy Tur even made an attempt to correct the record, and took a direct shot at WSJ journalist, Rebecca Ballhaus, who “broke” the story:

 

Wikipedia indicates the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer within the Seventh Fleet and tells of the ship’s namesakes …

This warship was originally named after John S. McCain, Sr., and John S. McCain, Jr., both admirals in the United States Navy. John S. McCain, Sr. commanded the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, and later the Fast Carrier Task Force during the latter stages of World War II. John S. McCain, Jr. commanded the submarines USS Gunnel and USS Dentuda during World War II. He subsequently held a number of posts, rising to Commander-in-Chief of the United States Pacific Command, before retiring in 1972. These men were, respectively, the grandfather and father of Senator John S. McCain III.

On 11 July 2018, at a rededication ceremony, Senator John McCain was added as a namesake, along with his father and grandfather.

Further clouding the credibility of the WSJ story, which claimed that a photo showed a tarp covered the name of the ship before the POTUS trip and that after the tarp came down, a barge moved nearby, effectively obscuring the name. However, the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet Cmdr., Clay Doss, said in a statement, “The picture of the Tarp is from Friday and it was taken down on Saturday. Paint barge was also removed ahead of the visit. All ships remained in normal configuration during the President’s visit.”

The questionable report by the paper had Meghan McCain upset and she quickly fired off a tweet blasting the President, as she is fond of doing in maintaining the Trump-McCain feud. She wrote, “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.”

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