Mulvaney: Attempt to move USS John McCain during Trump visit 'not unreasonable'

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyGOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks Congressional leaders, White House officials fail to reach budget deal Congressional leaders, White House officials to meet Wednesday on spending MORE said Sunday that it wasn't "unreasonable" for an administration staffer to ask that the USS John S. McCain be hidden during President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Joint Chiefs chairman: 'The last thing in the world we need right now is a war with Iran' Pence: 'We're not convinced' downing of drone was 'authorized at the highest levels' Trump: Bolton would take on the whole world at one time MORE's Japan visit last week. 

Mulvaney said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he believes it was a "probably somebody on the advance team" who told the Navy to hide the ship based on the president's feelings toward late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainVeterans group to hand out USS John McCain T-shirts for July 4 on the National Mall Will we ever have another veteran as president? Meghan McCain clashes with Joy Behar as the 'sacrificial Republican' on 'The View' MORE (R-Ariz.). 

"The president's feelings towards the former senator are well known," Mulvaney said, adding that firing someone over the request "is silly."

ADVERTISEMENT

"The fact that some 23- or 24-year-old person on the advance team went to that site and said, 'Oh my goodness. There's the John McCain. We all know how the president feels about the former senator. Maybe that's not the best backdrop. Can somebody look into moving it?' That's not an unreasonable thing to ask," Mulvaney said.

The Navy on Saturday confirmed receiving a request to "minimize visibility" of the USS John S. McCain, named for late senator's grandfather. 

Trump said he did not know of the request but that whoever did it was "well-meaning."

Trump and the late senator  clashed frequently, and the president has kept up his attacks after the Arizona Republican's death.