Twitter in Flames as WH Says Hiding USS J. McCain From Trump 'Not Unreasonable'

© REUTERS / Ahmad MasoodThe U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision, in Singapore waters August 21, 2017
The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision, in Singapore waters August 21, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The fallout from the scandal in which a White House staffer directed the US Navy to obscure the USS John S. McCain missile destroyer from President Donald Trump's line of sight during his recent visit to Japan continues to spread online.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has told NBC's Chuck Todd that "someone on the advance team" was probably responsible for the request to hide the ship, named after the late Arizona senator's grandfather, adding that he had no plans to fire the unnamed staffer over the incident.

The U.S. Navy warship USS John McCain, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer. File photo - Sputnik International
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"The fact that some 23,24-year-old person on the advance team went to that site and said, 'oh my goodness, here's the John McCain, we all know how the president feels about the former senator, maybe that's not the best backdrop, can someone looking into moving it?' That's not an unreasonable thing," Mulvaney said.

But the debate over the faux pas, staying in the news cycle for much of last week and moving into this week with the NBC interview, continues online, with tempers flaring over whether the White House staffer's request was the right thing to do.

Trump's critics accused the White House of catering to a child, and charged the president with being "extremely sensitive" behind his 'tough' exterior. Others bashed the president for his draft deferment from Vietnam, and claimed he didn't measure up to the McCain in whose honour the warship was named.

Others attempted to put a comedic twist on the scandal.

Trump's supporters defended him, however, calling the story a "non-issue," accusing the liberal media of focusing on "nonsense," and recalling the late senator's shady record.

Others went after NBC News host Chuck Todd, accusing him of failing to adequately follow up on Mulvaney's remarks, or asking why he steered the conversation in this direction in the first place. 

Donald Trump has a long record of feuding with late Arizona Senator John McCain, who passed away last August after a battle with cancer. On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump brushed off McCain's criticisms of his policy proposals, and refused to call the veteran, who was captured during his tour as a Navy pilot in the Vietnam War, a "war hero."

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision, in Singapore waters August 21, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The president has also repeatedly attacked McCain and his Senate colleague Lindsey Graham over their hawkish foreign policy, once accusing the pair of "looking to start WWIII" instead of focusing on real pressing issues. The feud between Trump and McCain has continued despite the senator's death, with McCain's daughter Meghan regularly attacking Trump and his family in the media and online.

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