The Pentagon has reportedly told the Trump administration that it will not allow the U.S military to be “politicized,” a move that comes after the White House instructed the Navy to make sure a warship named after late Sen. John McCain was “out of sight” during President Trump’s visit to Japan last week.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan “directed his chief of staff to speak with the White House military office and reaffirm his mandate that the Department of Defense will not be politicized,” Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“The chief of staff reported that he did reinforce this message,” Buccino added.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the White House directed the U.S. Navy to make sure the USS John S. McCain would be “out of sight” while he visited troops stationed in Japan.
“USS John McCain needs to be out of sight,” an email outlining the president’s plans for the trip read. “Please confirm #3 will be satisfied.”
According to Reuters, the order was not implemented after senior Navy officials became aware of the request.
Shanahan reportedly called on his chief of staff to find out what happened in regard to the request following Journal report.
Shanahan told reporters Sunday that he had no plans of demanding an inspector general investigation, Reuters noted.
“There is no room for politicizing the military,” Shanahan said, according to the news service.
Shanahan added that his chief of staff was unaware of the White House request and that a review had not discovered any emails to his team related to the issue.