A new report that the White House asked the U.S. Navy to keep the USS John McCain warship “out of sight” during President Donald Trump’s recent trip to Japan spurred shock and outrage on social media Wednesday night.
The Wall Street Journal, citing a May 15 email from the White House to military officials, reported that a directive was given that “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight” from the landing deck of the USS Wasp, where Trump delivered a speech Monday (Tuesday, local time) at Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo.
Trump had a notoriously poor relationship with the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was a frequent and vocal critic of him. In 2016, Trump said McCain was “not a war hero” and “I like people who weren’t captured.” Since McCain’s death last year, Trump has continued to attack and insult him.
According to the Journal, a tarp was hung over the name painted on the ship, which was damaged in a 2017 collision and is still being repaired, and a barge was moved to further block the ship’s name from sight. Sailors from the USS John McCain, who typically wear caps with the ship’s name on them, were reportedly given the day off when Trump visited.
“Trump is a child who will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dads incredible life,” Meghan McCain, the late senator’s daughter, tweeted Wednesday night. “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.”
“If true… it sounds like one of the smallest, pettiest things I’ve heard,” CNN anchor Anderson Cooper said on air Wednesday night.
Others joined in their outrage:
The warship was not named for the late senator, but rather for his father and grandfather, who were the first father and son duo to become U.S. Navy admirals.