The Pentagon has called on the White House to avoid politicising the military amid a Trump administration request to conceal the USS John McCain warship from the president's sight during his visit in Japan, Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan's spokesperson, Army Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, said on Sunday in a statement as quoted by Reuters.
Buccino said that the Pentagon head instructed his chief of staff to speak with the White House Military Office and reaffirm his mandate that the Department of Defence will not be politicised.
Earlier this week, AP reported citing anonymous officials that the White House directed the US Navy to move the USS John McCain so that US President Donald Trump wouldn't see the vessel during his visit to Japan over Memorial Day weekend.
President Trump and Secretary Shanahan said they were not aware about the request.
The US president and late Republican Senator John McCain feuded with each other on numerous occasions and their relations remained tense until McCain's death of brain cancer in August 2018. McCain's family didn't invite Trump to the politician's funeral, stressing he was not welcome, while the US president has continued to slam the late Arizona senator's policies.