Following the controversial directive from the White House to keep the USS John S. McCain out of President Donald Trump’s sight during his visit to Japan, the Pentagon has communicated to the White House that it will not allow the U.S. military to be politicized, Reuters reports.
According to the news agency, 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.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal revealed that the White House asked 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, the Journal reported. “Please confirm #3 will be satisfied.”
Trump, who said last week that he was unaware of the request, frequently slams the late Sen. John McCain and has called him “not a real Senator.”
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.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.