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

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyOMB nominee gets hearing on Feb. 9 Republicans now 'shocked, shocked' that there's a deficit Financial firms brace for Biden's consumer agency chief 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 TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump 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 McCainGraham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Former Trump Defense chief Esper to join McCain Institute We need an independent 1/6 commission that the whole country can have confidence in 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."

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"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.