President Donald Trump defended as "well meaning" the head-scratching effort by military brass to prevent the commander-in-chief from seeing the name of his Republican rival on the Navy warship that bears his name.
Trump reiterated his signature insult that he "was not a fan" of McCain, inexplicably reigniting his feud with the war hero who died of brain cancer this year.
But he insisted that he would not have ordered service members to use a tarp to cover up the words "USS John McCain" on the Navy ship during Trump's visit to Japan.
Trump tweeted: "I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan. Nevertheless, @FLOTUS and I loved being with our great Military Men and Women — what a spectacular job they do!"
Sailors who serve on the vessel were reportedly given the day off so that Trump would not come face-to-face with their uniforms that have McCain's name on them.
Meghan McCain trashed Trump as a "child" who was pouring salt on the wounds of her family's grief. "Trump … will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dads incredible life," she wrote on Twitter.
The strange feud is a reminder of Trump's bitter dispute with McCain, who famously broke with fellow Republicans to denounce him as a con man and a fraud.
Trump during the campaign derided McCain for being captured by Communist North Vietnam and accused him of betraying the GOP.
The feud should have ended with McCain's tragic death after a battle with brain cancer. But Trump inexplicably revived it after McCain's death, reminding backers that he was "never a fan."
The latest twist may turn into a full blown crisis for Trump and military leaders who may have ordered the highly unusual and inappropriate effort to cover up the name of an American hero on a Navy warship.
Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan reportedly approved the plain to keep the word "McCain" out of sight in hopes of avoiding an outburst from Trump.
Critics say taxpayer dollars should not be spent soothing the president's feelings, especially when they are supposed to be allocated to keeping the nation safe from threats.
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