The Pentagon has told the White House that the USA military will not be politicized, a US official said on Sunday, in response to a controversy after officials directed the United States Navy to keep the USS John S. McCain out of sight during a recent speech by President Donald Trump in Japan.
"A request was made to the U.S. Navy to minimize the visibility of USS John S. McCain, however, all ships remained in their normal configuration during the President's visit", Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, chief of Navy information, said in a statement to Politico.
"The president's actions have consequences, and when you repeatedly are attacking my father and war heroes, it creates a culture in the military where people are clearly fearful to show my father's name", she said, adding that the ship isn't just named after her father but her grandfather and great-grandfather as well, both of whom were four-star Navy admirals.
One White House staffer was concerned the mere sight of the vessel would irritate the president during his recent visit to Japan, and put in a request to the Navy to move it to a less conspicuous spot, but was refused.
Shanahan on Sunday also pushed again on a picture from The Wall Avenue Journal that talked about a tarp changed into place in location to duvet the ship's title because it couldn't be moved due to repairs, announcing the tarp changed into for "hull preservation and to not vague the title" so it changed into removed. "I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be", Trump said at the time. Navy Commander Clay Doss, spokesman for U.S. 7th Fleet, said the tarp was on the ship on Friday but was removed by Saturday morning, the day Mr Trump arrived in Japan. The McCain crew was given a 96-hour Memorial Day weekend leave that Shanahan said was unrelated to the President's visit.
On Thursday, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan ordered his chief of staff to investigate reports that the White House ordered the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer be hidden or obscured from view during the president's visit.
The Journal, citing photos it reviewed, reported that a tarp was placed over the USS John S. McCain's name before Trump's arrival and that sailors were instructed to remove any coverings from the ship that included its name.
Shanahan has said that he asked his chief-of-staff to look into how the request was made to the Navy, but that he is not asking for an independent audit from the Inspector General.
FILE - Near the portraits, from right, of John S. McCain, John S. McCain, Jr. and John S. McCain III, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and his wife Polly Spencer disembark from the USS John S. McCain after a rededication ceremony at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, July 12, 2018. "I wasn't involved. I would not have done that", he said, adding, "I was not a big fan of John McCain in any way, shape or form". Clay Doss, a spokesman for the 7th Fleet.
VOA had previously reported these details provided by a U.S. Navy official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Trump was not welcome at McCain's funeral and raised the White House's U.S. flag back to full-staff shortly after McCain's death last August, despite U.S. Flag Code stating that it should remain at half-staff for another day.
McCain's daughter Meghan tweeted Wednesday that Trump will "always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dads incredible life".
"It makes my grief unbearable".