According to The Wall Street Journal, a tarp was placed over the name of the USS John S. McCain before Donald Trump arrived to deliver a speech to American sailors, however, the Navy has insisted that warship’s name “was not obscured during the POTUS visit”.
The White House wanted the US Navy to move the USS John McCain so that US President Donald Trump wouldn’t see the vessel during his visit to Japan over Memorial Day weekend, AP reported, citing anonymous officials.
Commenting on the media reports, Trump wrote on Twitter: “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan”.
Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan also “was not aware of the directive to move the USS John S McCain nor was he aware of the concern precipitating the directive”, according to his spokesman Joe Buccino.
Initially, The Wall Street Journal reported that a US Indo-Pacific Command official had written an email instructing other Navy and Air Force officials about Trump’s speech on the USS Wasp in Japan, stressing that “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight”.
While the reason for the move has not been explained, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John McCain, was originally named after the late US senator’s grandfather and father, both admirals in the United States Navy. On 11 July 2018, at a re-dedication ceremony, Senator John McCain was added as a namesake, along with his father and grandfather
The current US president and the late Republican Senator often clashed with each other on a number of issues. McCain even blocked Trump’s healthcare bill in the Senate and opposed his immigration policies. Their relations remained sour until McCain’s death of brain cancer in August 2018. McCain’s family didn’t invite Trump to the politician’s funeral, stressing he was not welcome, while the US president has continued to slam the late Arizona Senator’s policies.