The White House has no regrets about the order to move the USS John McCain out of sight for President Donald Trump‘s recent visit to Japan, acting Cheif of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted in a Sunday interview.
Mulvaney told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that he “absolutely” thought it was someone on the visit’s advance team who gave the order and that they would receive no punishment.
“An advance team is hundreds of people,” Mulvaney said on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning.
“… the fact that some 23 or 24-year-old person on the advance team went to the site and said, ‘oh my goodness, there’s the John McCain. We all know about how the president feels about the former senator, maybe that’s not the best backdrop can somebody look into moving it?’ That’s not an unreasonable thing to ask.”
Todd laughed at Mulvaney’s response, pointing out that the ship was originally named after the late senator’s grandfather.
“It’s a different John McCain, we get that,” Mulvaney responded. “But you’re the third or fourth journalist who’s asked me is someone gonna get fired for this. No!”
Mulvaney pressed on, saying that Trump’s opinion of the late senator is “well known” and that talking about the subject more is “outrageous.”
Watch the video below:
Mulvaney: "The president's feelings towards the former senator are well known." pic.twitter.com/1AcABjHjEB
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 2, 2019
Mulvaney’s brazen and unapologetic telling of the incident clashes with the president, who tweeted last week that the whole story was an “exaggeration” and could be “fake news.”
The Navy put out a disclaimer on the McCain story. Looks like the story was an exaggeration, or even Fake News – but why not, everything else is!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2019
However, that tweet came after the president didn’t deny the incident to reporters at the White House earlier that day.
“Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him, OK?” he said at the time. “And they were well-meaning, I will say.”