Buttigieg slams reported Trump request to move USS McCain: 'Our military is not a prop'

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — ObamaCare premiums dropping for 2020 | Warren, Buttigieg shift stances on 'Medicare for All' | Drug companies spend big on lobbying Poll: Biden holds 2 point lead over Sanders nationally Saagar Enjeti: Warren, Buttigieg don't stand a chance against Trump MORE (D) slammed a reported Trump administration request for military officials to hide the USS John S. McCain during the president's visit to Japan. 

Buttigieg, who served in the Navy, said Thursday that the military isn't a "prop" to be "toyed with for the benefit of a fragile president's ego."

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that White House officials requested the ship — which was originally named after McCain's grandfather and father, with the senator joining the namesakes in 2018 — be "out of sight" during President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE's Memorial Day visit.

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Trump told reporters on Thursday that he didn't know about the decision, but said that whoever made the order was "well meaning" given his past feuds with the late GOP Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainPublisher announces McSally book planned for May release Democrats lead Trump by wide margins in Minnesota Here's what to watch this week on impeachment MORE. Trump has continued to attack McCain nearly a year after the senator's death and said Thursday that he "was not a big fan of John McCain in any way, shape or form."

The Washington Post and New York Times both confirmed the Wall Street Journal's report, which said that military officials approved measures so the ship would be hidden during Trump's state visit.

Buttigieg has in the past come to McCain's defense after a Trump attack, pointing to accusations that Trump faked a bone spurs diagnoses to avoid serving in the Vietnam War.

"When a president (who faked a disability in order to avoid serving) attacks a departed war hero, it’s for attention," Buttigieg tweeted in March. "We should honor the late Senator McCain, and also follow his example by focusing not on the behavior of the president but on the future of our country."