- The Washington Times
Thursday, May 30, 2019

President Trump said Thursday that people who took steps to conceal the USS John McCain during his overseas trip were “well-meaning” but that their actions were ill-advised and he had nothing to do with it.

Mr. Trump told White House reporters he wasn’t a fan of late Sen. John McCain, but he wasn’t involved in hiding the ship whose namesake is in honor of the Arizonan, his father and grandfather.

“Somebody did it, because they thought I didn’t like him, OK?” he said. “They were well-meaning, I will say. I didn’t know anything about it. I would never have done that.”

SEE ALSO: Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan orders investigation into USS McCain incident, denies involvement

Mr. Trump was reacting to a report in the Wall Street Journal that said the ship was hidden from view during his Memorial Day weekend visit to Japan.

The report also said its sailors were given the day off to cut down the chance Mr. Trump would see the name of McCain, who’d sparred with the president.

The Wall Street Journal said the request, citing a May 15 email to U.S. Navy and Air Force officials, grew out of “conversations between the White House Military Office and the Seventh Fleet of the U.S. Navy.”

SEE ALSO: White House ordered USS McCain moved out of Trump’s view

Some of the email recipients expressed surprise at the request, the Journal reported, while Meghan McCain said the president’s continued griping about her father “makes my grief unbearable.”

On Thursday, Mr. Trump reiterated he wasn’t fond of the longtime lawmaker because of his role in thwarting the GOP effort to repeal and replace Obamacare from moving forward in 2017.

“I was very angry of John McCain because he killed health care,” Mr. Trump said. “I was not a big fan of John McCain in any way, shape or form.”

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