1. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
(Reporter question: Do you think it's fair to the sailors of the John McCain that they were banned from hearing you speak?)
Yeah, I don't know what happened. I wasn't involved. I would not have done that. I was very angry with John McCain because he killed health care. I was not a big fan of John McCain in any way shape or form. I think John McCain had a lot to getting President Bush, a lot to do with it, to go into the Middle East, which was a catastrophe. To me, John McCain, I wasn't a fan but I would never do a thing like that. Now somebody did it because they thought I didn't like him. Ok? And they were well-meaning, I will say. I didn't know anything about it. I would never have done that.
(Reporter: Do you owe the sailors of the McCain an apology?)
No, not at all. I heard sailors all went on. We had a tremendous group of sailors from various ships. It was a beautiful day. But the McCain thing I knew nothing about."
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he had nothing to with directing the U.S. Navy to keep a warship named for the late Sen. John McCain out of sight during his visit to Japan this week.
Trump acknowledged that he "was not a big fan" of the late senator "in any way, shape or form," but insisted, "I would never do a thing like that."
"Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn't like him, OK? And they were well-meaning, I will say," he added, while insisting he was kept in the dark.
Three U.S. officials confirmed to The Associated Press that the White House told the U.S. Navy to keep the warship named for McCain, with whom Trump long feuded, out of Trump's sight during the president's visit to a base outside of Tokyo Tuesday.