U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he was unaware of any effort to move the USS John S. McCain that was stationed near the site of his recent speech in Japan.
A U.S. official confirmed to Reuters that an initial request had been made to keep the John McCain out of sight during Mr. Trump’s speech but was scrapped by senior Navy officials.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, said the White House wanted the Navy to move the ship, named for the late Arizona Senator, “out of sight.”
The email to Navy and Air Force officials had a number of directives, including: one telling officials that “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight”.
Speaking with reporters en route to Singapore, acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said he had not approved any movement of the ship, but would ask his Chief of Staff to look into the details of what happened.