The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that White House officials had ordered the United States Navy to remove the USS John S. McCain ahead of President Trump’s recent Japan visit.
The report indicated that McCain’s name was obscured with a tarp, then later by a barge strategically placed in front of it. Crew members who normally wear caps bearing the ship’s name were also allegedly given the day off.
Meghan McCain, the late senator’s daughter, took the news as a cue to blast the President as a “child.”
“Trump is a child who will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dad’s incredible life,” she tweeted. “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,” she added.
Turns out, it might be the media who were trying to stir up this pot once again. The report, which is most easily identifiable as fake news on its surface, is being confirmed as such by not only the President but the U.S. Navy themselves.
First up, was an email exchange the WSJ and CNBC reported as coming from the White House demanding that the “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight” and to “Please confirm [that] will be satisfied.”
Two sources confirm to @CNBC that this is the email showing coordinated efforts to put the USS John McCain “out of sight.”
— Amanda Macias (@amanda_m_macias) May 30, 2019
Even lowly CNN would report that such an email came from low-level individuals and was quickly squashed by the upper echelon of command.
“There were emails between lower-level officers, but once leadership heard about it, they said knock it off,” a senior Navy official told the network.
Another Navy spokesman said that “all ships remained in normal configuration during POTUS’ visit,” refuting any indication that a barge was used to obscure the USS John McCain.
“We didn’t do anything to obstruct the name of the ship,” yet another official said. “The Wall Street Journal piece refers to a photo of a tarp covering the ship, that photo was taken Friday, May 24, the tarp was removed the following day.”
The President arrived for his trip on Saturday.
The Navy was so hell-bent on correcting the record that they revived an old Twitter account abandoned in 2014 to put the story to rest.
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.
— Navy Chief of Information (@chinfo) May 30, 2019
On his own Twitter account, Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, the Navy’s new Chief of Information wrote that while he has “tons of respect” for the Wall Street Journal, “the ship’s name was not obscured during the POTUS visit.”
For his part, the President who is typically quick to take credit for bashing his political rival in McCain, quickly dismissed the story.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2019
While the McCain/Trump rivalry has been intense over the last few years, and the President has been known to criticize the late Senator on occasion, this appears to be a case where the media made a story out of nothing and the thin-skinned Meghan McCain took the bait.
Read more at the Political Insider