President Donald Trump and his acting defense secretary removed Thursday from an announcement to hold a warship named Sen Sen. John McCain, a Trump Tower, out of sight of the commander in charge of the recent visit to Japan.
The Pentagon's acting chief, Patrick Shanahan, said he never authorized attempts to ensure that Trump would not see USS John S. McCain at his homeport in Japan and wanted his chief of staff investigated. Trump said he wasn't involved in the case.
Trump, who long celebrated with McCain, told reporters in the White House that he was by no means "not a big fan" of the Republican Republican and even presidential "form or form." But Trump added, "I would never do such a thing."
"Now someone did it because they thought I didn't like him, okay? And they were well-intentioned, I want to say," he said while he insisted he was kept in the dark.
The order that a marine destroyer be kept out of sight reflected what seemed to be an extraordinary White House effort to avoid insulting an unpredictable president known to hold an angry, including a particularly bitter one against McCain.
Three US officials confirmed to The Associated Press that the White House told Navy to keep the warship named for McCain out of Trump's sight during Trump's visit Tuesday to a base outside Tokyo.
First, the Wall Street Journal reported that an American Indo-Pacific Command Officer wrote an email to Navy and Air Force officials about Trump's Memorial Day weekend visit, including instructions for preparing for the USS Wasp, where he should speak.
"USS John McCain must be out of sight," according to the email obtained by Journal, whose existence was confirmed to the AP by the three US officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private e-mail correspondence.
When a navy commander expressed surprise at the instruction, the American Indo-Pacific Command Control replied: "First, I also heard about that" Journal reported. The official said he would talk to the White House Military Office for more information on the directive, the newspaper reported.
Trump tweeted late Wednesday that he "was not informed about having the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan."
Still, he added Thursday that he "was very angry at McCain because he killed the health service. I was not a big fan of John McCain in any way, form or form. "
As a senator, McCain broke with the president in key areas. He claims Trump with his thumb voice to try to lift President Barack Obama's health law. Trump also mocked McCain's military service, which included years of imprisonment and torture during the Vietnam War.
The warship commissioned in 1994 was originally named for the senator's father and grandfather, both navy admirals named John Sidney McCain. Last year, the fleet also accounted for the ship in honor of the senator as well.
Shanahan told journalists in Jakarta, Indonesia that he had not been unaware of the request for USS John S. McCain.
"I have never authorized, I have never approved any action on the movement or activities of that ship," said Shanahan. He said the military "must do their job" and stay out of politics.
The journal cited pictures that it reviewed, reported that a tarp was located above the USS John S. McCain's name before Trump's arrival, and that sailors were instructed to remove any pavements from the ship that included its name.
Asked if the tarp was to block Trump's view of the ship, the officials said the tarp had been placed on the ship for maintenance and removed for the visit. Navy Cdr. Clay Doss, spokesman for the US 7th Fleet, told the AP that the tarp was on the ship Friday but was removed on Saturday morning, the day Trump arrived in Japan.
"All ships remained in normal configuration during the President's visit," he said.
Two US officials told the AP that all the ships in the port were on Trump's visit and they were visible from the USS Wasp. The officials said most of their names were unlikely to be seen since they were side by side, but the name of the USS John S. McCain could be seen from the pier.
Baggage administrator Charlie Brown, Navy Public Affairs Officer, tweeted Wednesday night: "The name of the USS John S. McCain was not hidden under the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day. Navy is proud of the ship, its crew, its namesake and its inheritance." POTUS is the president of the United States.
Saturday morning was a paint barge in front of USS John S. McCain when 7th Fleet officials walked on the pier to see how everything looked for the visit. The pram was then ordered to be moved and was gone when Trump arrived, officials said.
The journal reported that sailors on the USS John S. McCain, who usually carry hats with the ship's name on it, were given the day off when Trump visited.
Two US officials told the AP that sailors on the USS John S. McCain were not told to stay away, but that many were gone for the long weekend. Officials also said that about 800 seamen from more than 20 ships and navy commands were on USS Wasp during the President's visit, and all had the same Navy hat that has no logo, rather than carrying individual ships or commands.
Trump was not welcome to McCain's funeral and left the White House American flag back to full-time staff shortly after McCain's death in August, despite the US Flag Code, saying it should stay with the Half-Service for another day. The flag returned to the half-staff later in the day.
McCain's daughter Meghan tweeted Wednesday that Trump will "always be deeply threatened by the greatness of the incredible life of my dads."
She added: "There are many criticisms of how much I am talking about my father, but nine months since he left, Trump will not let him go. So I have to stand up for him.
" unbearable. "
__  Associated Press author Jill Colvin contributed to this report.