Mystery remains over why USS John S McCain name was covered

The president said he was not involved in the decision before he arrived in Japan but that whoever gave the order meant well.
2:26 | 05/30/19

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Transcript for Mystery remains over why USS John S McCain name was covered
We have new reporting tonight on the white house request to hide the uss John McCain during president trump's visit to Japan. Tonight, the president saying he did not know about the request, but added, someone did him a favor. And tonight, Meghan McCain weighing in, and so is the mother of a sailor who died on that ship. Here's ABC's Mary Bruce. Reporter: The question tonight, why was this tarp covering the name of the uss John S. McCain, just days before the president's trip to Japan? I don't know what happened. I wasn't involved. Reporter: But as "The wall Street journal" was first to report, the McCain name was obscured because of an order from the white house, that said the destroyer "Needs to be out of sight." When Navy leadership learned of the directive, though, that tarp was taken down, before the president arrived. And according to the Navy, "All ships remained in normal configuration during the president's visit." But the president says whoever did give that order meant well. They thought they were doing me a favor, because they know I am not a feign of John McCain. John McCain killed health care for the Republican party and he killed health care for the nation. Reporter: The president has been attacking McCain for years. In 2015, then-candidate trump insisted the former Navy pilot who was held captive and tortured for five years in Vietnam, was not a hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured. Reporter: McCain died from brain cancer in August. His daughter, Meghan, says the continued attacks against her father make it impossible to grieve. Because the president is so obsessed with the fact that he's never going to be a great man like he was. Yeah. That's true. Reporter: Tonight, the uss John S. McCain remains stationed in Japan. It's being repaired after a 2017 collision that killed ten U.S. Sailors. The mother of one of those sailors, petty officer first class Kevin Bushell, tells ABC news the president's focus should be on "The sailors that lost their lives, and not about the tender ego of this president because he is threatened by the late senator McCain." All right, Mary Bruce live in Washington tonight, as well, and Mary, this evening, president trump's acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, who wants the job, we believe, was tressed about this incident, and he said he did not authorize or approve this. Reporter: Well, David, the acting defense secretary says he had nothing to do with this and is making clear he disagrees with the president, saying he, quote, would never dishonor the memory of a great American patriot like senator McCain. David? Mary Bruce with us, as well. Thanks, Mary.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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