Officers were told to keep the USS John McCain out of Trump's view during the visit to Japan

Officers were told to keep the USS John McCain out of Trump's view during the visit to Japan
Officials were told to sell John McCain out of President Trump's view during his Memorial Day weekend visit to Japan, CBS News confirmed.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that an officer of the Indo-Pacific Command of the United States wrote an email to the officers of the Navy and the Air Force before the arrival of Mr. Trump. It included instructions for landing areas suitable for helicopters and preparations for the USS Wasp.

The official then issued a third instruction: "The USS John McCain needs to disappear," according to the email, which was first obtained by The Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post and Associated Press also confirmed their existence.

Three US officials UU They spoke on Wednesday to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private correspondence by e-mail.

Josh Dawsey of the Washington Post posted on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, "Administration officials confirm the WSJ story, the request was made to make sure McCain was not visible." Aides say Trump is not involved in the request, but he has no chance of anger from POTUS. "

The newspaper reported that when a Navy commander expressed surprise at the instruction, the officer of the Indo-Pacific Command of the United States responded: "The first thing I heard was also". The official said he would speak with the White House Military Office to obtain more information about the directive, the newspaper said.

In response to the story, Mr. Trump, who quarreled with McCain publicly for years and at one point mocked his military service, tweeted that he knew nothing about the USS John S. McCain navy ship during My recent visit to Japan.

The president can not say that he did not know about the ship before his visit. A clarification message was left at the last minute of Wednesday for the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday morning, the interim Secretary of Defense of the United States, Patrick Shanahan, told reporters: "When I read about this morning, it was the first time I heard it."

He later told reporters traveling with him to a security conference in Singapore that he would ask his staff to review the reports.

"I never authorized, I never approved any action," Shanahan said.

He said he would never dishonor the memory of a great American like McCain or disrespect the men and women of the ship's crew.

When asked about service members who engage in political situations, Shanahan said the military "should do their job" and stay out of politics.

The newspaper reported that before the name of USS John S. McCain the arrival of Mr. Trump, according to the photos he reviewed and that the sailors were instructed to remove the ship that included his name.

Navy Information Chief Rear Admiral Charlie Brown tweeted Wednesday night that "the name of the USS John S. McCain was not hidden during the visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day, the Navy is proud of that ship, its crew, its namesake ", and its heritage".

A spokesman for the Pacific Fleet confirmed to CBS News that "the canvas picture is from Friday and it was removed on Saturday, all ships were in the normal configuration during the President's visit."

Martin says that McCain's commanding officer was the ship on Saturday and that the tarp was gone. "The admiral in charge of the 7th Fleet, Admiral Bill Sawyer, is given the address that nothing will be covered," Martin adds.

Two US officials told the AP that all the ships in the port were lined up for Mr. Trump's visit and that they were visible from the USS Wasp. However, officials said that most of their names could not be seen by the USS John S McCain.

When asked if the goal of the tarp was to block Mr. Trump's view of Trump, officials said the tarp was placed on the ship for maintenance and retreated for the visit.

Two US officials said a painted barge was placed in front of the USS John S. McCain on Saturday morning when the officers of the 7th Fleet walked to the dock to see. Then the barge was ordered to move to Trump, the officers said.

The newspaper reported, based on people familiar with the matter, that the sailors on the USS John S. McCain, who usually wear hats with the name of the ship, given the day off when Mr. Trump told him to.