Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney defended the request to move the USS John S. McCain from President Donald Trump’s sight, saying that it was “not an unreasonable” thing to ask.
Mulvaney appeared on both “Fox News Sunday” and NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning, during both of which he was asked about an unknown White House official’s request to hide the McCain ship from Trump’s sight during his trip to Japan.
Mulvaney told Fox host Chris Wallace that neither he nor Trump knew about the request, but that Trump’s feelings about the late senator “are well-known” and that a junior White House official might’ve taken it into their own hands.
“If a 23 or 24-year-old person says ‘Look, is it really a good idea for this ship to be in the background?’, that is not an unreasonable question to have, and it’s certainly not something that takes up two minutes of national television on Sunday,” Mulvaney sniped at Wallace.
Wallace also asked acting chief of staff if anyone at the White House would be disciplined over the request.
“For what? For asking an innocuous question about that? No,” Mulvaney responded. “This is a minor issue that we think the media is trying to make into a larger matter.”
Mulvaney made a similar argument when discussing the incident with “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.
“The fact that some 23, 24-year-old on the Advance team went to that site and said ‘Oh my goodness, there’s the John McCain. We all know how the President feels about the former senator. Maybe that’s not the best backdrop, can someone look into moving it?’: That’s not an unreasonable thing to ask,” Mulvaney said.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said last week that he “would not have moved the ship” and that his chief of staff was investigating the situation.
Watch Mulvaney on Fox below:
Mick Mulvaney defends request to hide McCain ship from Trump's sight: "That is not an unreasonable question to have" pic.twitter.com/EklshBs900
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) June 2, 2019
Watch Mulvaney on “Meet the Press” below:
Mulvaney: "The president's feelings towards the former senator are well known." pic.twitter.com/1AcABjHjEB
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 2, 2019