Did POTUS issue this order?

Talk about a murky story.

I didn’t want to believe it when it first came to light. I now tend to believe at least part of it, maybe even most of it. The story is disturbing in the extreme.

It goes like this: U.S. Navy officials sent messages out that ordered that the name of a battle destroyer, the USS John McCain, be kept out of Donald Trump’s view when he arrived in Japan for a state visit.

This is about as disgusting as it gets.

The ship was named after the father and grandfather of the late U.S. senator, who became a consistent foe of the president before he died of brain cancer in August 2018.

What I cannot grasp is this: Who issued the order? Did it come from the commander in chief? Did it come from senior naval officers who sought to make the boss happy? And why would an officer actually carry out such a preposterous order?

The White House staff insists that Trump played no role in the order. That insistence is reason enough for me to look with dubiousness at the denial, given the lack of truth-telling that emanates with stunning regularity from the White House.

But we don’t know about the source of the order.

Trump said he’d never do such a thing. Really, Mr. President?

The USS John McCain was commissioned in honor of two admirals. The late senator’s name was added after the ship went on active duty.

If it’s true, that the order came down and that it was presented as has been reported — that the ship’s crew was ordered to shroud the name so that Trump didn’t see the name while touring the area — then we might have entered a brand new era of petulance.

According to CBS News, which has confirmed the existence of the order: “I would not have done that. I was not a big fan of John McCain in any way shape or form. To me John McCain, I wasn’t a fan. But I would never do such a thing like that. Now, someone did it because they thought I didn’t like him. They were well-meaning, I will say. But I wouldn’t have,” Mr. Trump said.

I want to believe him. Then again, it comes from the liar in chief.

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