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The White House reportedly asked the Navy to hide the USS John S. McCain during Trump’s Japan visit
The White House asked the U.S. military to move the destroyer USS John S. McCain "out of sight" during President Donald Trump's recent visit to Japan, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
Trump reacted to the story on Wednesday night by tweeting: "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!"
The McCain was initially named for the senator's father and grandfather, but the Navy dedicated the ship to the Arizona lawmaker as well shortly before he died. The destroyer was severely damaged in an Aug. 21, 2017 collision with an oil tanker that killed 10 of its crew.
On May 15, an official with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command sent an email to the Navy and Air Force about the president's upcoming visit to Japan that included an order from the White House Military Office: "USS John McCain needs to be out of sight," the Wall Street Journal reported.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan approved taking steps to comply, the newspaper reported. Accordingly, a tarp and a barge were both strategically positioned to obscure the ship's name. Sailors aboard the destroyer, who normally wear caps with the vessel's name, were given the day off during Trump's visit.
An unnamed senior White House official told the Washington Post that the message about hiding the McCain was sent without Trump's knowledge to avoid upsetting the president during his visit.
Shanahan's spokesman Army Lt. Col. Joe Buccino said the acting defense secretary had no role responding to the White House's order.
"Secretary Shanahan was not aware of the directive to move the USS John S McCain nor was he aware of the concern precipitating the directive," Buccino said in a statement.
The Washington Post also reported that the tarp obscuring the McCain's name was removed after senior Navy officials "grasped what was happening" and ordered sailors to stop, but Navy officials issued a string of denials that any attempt to conceal the ship's name had been made.
Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, the Navy's chief of information, tweeted on Wednesday: "The name of USS John S. McCain was not obscured during the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day. The Navy is proud of that ship, its crew, its namesake and its heritage."
A Navy official told Task & Purpose that the tarp that was hung over the ship's name on May 24 and taken down the following day was being used for hull maintenance and preservation. The official also denied that the barge was used to obscure the McCain's name.
"All ships remained in normal configuration during the president's visit," Cmdr. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet, said on Wednesday.
White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Trump and McCain were such political foes that the president initially did not order flags be flown at half-staff after McCain died in August.
UPDATE: This story was updated on May 29 with comments from Army Lt. Col. Joe Buccino and information from the Washington Post.
SEE ALSO: The Navy is investigating sailors for rocking 'Make Aircrew Great Again' patches during Trump's Japan visit
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Moments before Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia went back into the house, journalist Michael Ware said he was "pacing like a caged tiger ... almost like he was talking to himself."
"I distinctly remember while everybody else had taken cover temporarily, there out in the open on the street — still exposed to the fire from the roof — was David Bellavia," Ware told Task & Purpose on Monday. "David stopped pacing, he looked up and sees that the only person still there on the street is me. And I'm just standing there with my arms folded.
"He looked up from the pacing, stared straight into my eyes, and said 'Fuck it.' And I stared straight back at him and said 'Fuck it,'" Ware said. "And that's when I knew, we were both going back in that house."
Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.
Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.
No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
John Wick is back, and he's here to stay. It doesn't matter how many bad guys show up to try to collect on that bounty.
With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the titular hitman, played by 54-year-old Keanu Reeves, continues on a blood-soaked hyper-stylized odyssey of revenge: first for his slain dog, then his wrecked car, then his destroyed house, then ... well, honestly it's hard to keep track of exactly what Wick is avenging by this point, or the body count he's racked up in the process.
Though we do know that the franchise has raked in plenty of success at the box office: just a week after it's May 17 release, the third installment in director Chad Stahleski's series took in roughly $181 million, making it even more successful than its two wildly popular prequels 2014's John Wick, and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2.
And, more importantly, Reeves' hitman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest action movie heroes in recent memory. Few (if any) other action flicks have succeeded in creating a mind-blowing avant garde ballet out of a dozen well-dressed gunmen who get shot, choked, or stabbed with a pencil by a pissed off hitman who just wants to return to retirement.
But for all the over-the-top acrobatics, fight sequences, and gun-porn (see: the sommelier), what makes the series so enthralling, especially for the service members and vets in the audience, is that there are some refreshing moments of realism nestled under all of that gun fu. Wrack your brain and try to remember the last time you saw an action hero do a press check during a shootout, clear a jam, or actually, you know, reload, instead of just hip-firing 300 rounds from an M16 nonstop. It's cool, we'll wait.
As it turns out, there's a good reason for the caliber of gun-play in John Wick. One of the franchise's secret weapons is a professional three-gun shooter named Taran Butler, who told Task & Purpose he can draw and hit three targets in 0.67 seconds from 10 yards. And if you've watched any of the scores of videos he's uploaded to social media over the years, it's pretty clear that this isn't idle boasting.
The Navy's electromagnetic railgun is undergoing what officials described as "essentially a shakedown" of critical systems before finally installing a tactical demonstrator aboard a surface warship, the latest sign that the once-beleaguered supergun may actually end up seeing combat.
That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.
The Justice Department has accused Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) of illegally using campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs with five women.
Hunter, who fought in the Iraq War as a Marine artillery officer, and his wife Margaret were indicated by a federal jury on Aug. 21, 2018 for allegedly using up to $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use.
In a recent court filing, federal prosecutors accused Hunter of using campaign money to pay for a variety of expenses involved with his affairs, ranging from a $1,008 hotel bill to $7 for a Sam Adams beer.