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Navy: Oh, by the way, we did get a request to hide the USS John S. McCain during Trump's visit
The Navy's top spokesman acknowledged Friday that the White House did in fact request the service obscure the USS John S. McCain while President Donald Trump was visiting, but the request was ultimately denied.
"A request was made to the U.S. Navy to minimize the visibility of USS John S. McCain," Rear Adm. Charlie Brown said in a statement to Task & Purpose. "However, all ships remained in their normal configuration during the President's visit. There were also no intentional efforts to explicitly exclude Sailors assigned to USS John S. McCain."
As was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, the White House military office had requested the McCain be obscured during Trump's visit to Japan. In an email on May 15 to discuss planning for the president's visit, an official with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said that after discussions between the White House and the Navy's 7th Fleet, the "USS John McCain needs to be out of sight" and asked those on the email to "confirm [that directive] will be satisfied."
You can read the email below:
The admission by Rear Adm. Charlie Brown in a Friday statement came just days after he re-activated the long-dormant Navy Chief of Information Twitter account on May 29 to post a technically-true-but-misleading-as-fuck statement. In other words, public affairs be public affairs-ing.
"The name of USS John S. McCain was not obscured during the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day," Brown wrote on Twitter. "The Navy is proud of that ship, its crew, its namesake and its heritage."
Incredible! It's incredible because the statement challenges a premise that was never asserted: That the McCain was covered up during the visit. As the story and WSJ headline made clear, the news was that a White House official thought it was necessary to cover up the McCain name from a ship in order to protect the president from the absolute horror of seeing that name out in public.
It's right there in the headline:
It ultimately didn't happen, because other Navy officials poked their head in and asked, hey what is this dumb fuckery? and the issue was eventually dropped (which was also noted in the article).
But the fact remains that someone at the White House thought it was necessary to cover up the name of a ship to protect the president's feels. They discussed it, and the Navy was planning for it. And now the Navy has finally admitted it.
So thank you for your service, Navy Chief of Information, for your carefully worded non-denial statements. We'll be sure to parse every word in the future to discern fact from fiction.
"The Navy is fully cooperating with the review of this matter tasked by the Secretary of Defense," Brown added in his statement. "Our forward-deployed Naval forces continue to stand ready to execute their assigned missions."
The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."