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.
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.
Mick Mulvaney says it wasn’t ‘unreasonable’ to ask that the USS John McCain be moved for Trump’s visit? Why’s this remind me of havin to get an additional gift for your friends kid on his baby brothers birthday so that he doesn’t feel left out? They’re catering to a 3-year-old…— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) 2 июня 2019 г.
The Navy had to cover the name on the USS John McCain so they wouldn’t upset Trump.— Travis Allen 🇺🇸 (@TravisAllen02) 2 июня 2019 г.
For someone who portrays himself as “tough,” Trump sure seems to be extremely sensitive.
Pictured: the three namesakes of the USS John S. McCain: John S. McCain, Sr., John S. McCain, Jr., & John S. McCain III.— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) 2 июня 2019 г.
Also pictured: 5-time draft dodger who called avoiding Syphilis, “My own Vietnam.” (@realDonaldTrump) pic.twitter.com/1Y0nXzXmTt
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.
Who cares. This is media nonsense. The USS McCain isn’t even named for the late Senator McCain. It was named for Admiral John S. McCain. It’s a non-issue. This would be like moving a car I thought my wife didn’t like and my neighbors being offended. It doesn’t matter.— VeryDeplorable — זָכַר (@BuckEBadger) 31 мая 2019 г.
Justly deserved… Senator McCain died a traitor to his country. He was directly involved in passing the dirty Steele dossier to the disgusting @FBI in order to provide it with an air of legitimacy. He knew it was fake, but he hated Trump.https://t.co/1jLUTsqaOh— MuellerTRUMPsDems (@ps_dems) 2 июня 2019 г.
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.
At what point do Chuck Todd and other members of the media become complicit?— Kathleen Bestor (@KathleenBestor) 2 июня 2019 г.
@chucktodd I watch your show every week. Keep you eye on the important ball. Who cares about the USS John McCain. I loved the man, but that was an unimportant event. Sometimes you are a smug prick. That is what hurts to the democratic party. Wake up— David Ziegler (@ziggy52) 2 июня 2019 г.
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."