The White House reportedly wanted the Navy to move a warship named after the late Sen. John McCain “out of sight” for President Trump's trip to Japan, The Wall Street Journal reports. In a May 15 email to Navy and Air Force officials, a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command official reportedly listed directives in preparation for Trump’s visit—one of them being that the USS John McCain needed to not be seen. “Please confirm #3 will be satisfied,” the official was quoted as writing. The Navy official reportedly replied with surprise upon seeing the directive. “First I heard of it as well,” the Indo-Pacific Command official said, adding that he would work with the White House Military Office to obtain more information. Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan was also reportedly aware of the concerns surrounding the USS John McCain and “approved measures” so it wouldn’t interfere with the president’s trip.
Ahead of the trip, tarp was laid over the ship’s name and sailors were instructed to remove any of the ship’s coverings that had its name on it. After the tarp was taken down, a barge was moved closer to the ship to obscure its name, according to the report. The USS John McCain’s sailors, who typically wear caps with the late senator’s name on them, were said to have been given the day off during Trump’s visit.