Top Fleet Officer Relieved as Pentagon Orders Worldwide ‘Pause’ After McCain Collision
Operational pause. All 277 Navy ships worldwide will review the basics of seamanship, teamwork and other fundamentals after a collision between the Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain and a tanker east of Singapore. It was the Seventh Fleet’s fourth collision since January. As a result, the fleet’s top officer, Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, was removed on Wednesday. Admiral Aucoin is being replaced by Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer, “who has already been nominated and confirmed for the position and promotion to vice admiral,” the Navy said in a statement. The Navy is not confirming the names of the 10 missing sailors, but family members have identified three of them as Jacob Drake, 21, of North Lewisburg, Ohio, Logan Palmer, 23, of Decatur, Ill., and Kenneth Smith, 22. Remains were found in flooded compartments of the McCain, and another body has been found at sea.
Cold war. Trump isn’t talking to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). McConnell has privately told others that Trump is entirely unwilling to learn the basics of governing, according to The New York Times. Former Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a Republican who is close to McConnell, said the House and Senate would have to govern on their own if Trump “can’t participate constructively.”
Rewriting history. Trump again attacked the media in Phoenix, Ariz., and misrepresented his own comments after a racist rally by neo-Nazis and others that left one person dead in Charlottesville, Va. and injured at least 19 others. Trump accused the media of “trying to take away our history and our heritage.” Trump implied he plans to pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. “Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?” Trump asked. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court after he ignored an order to stop detaining people his office suspected of being undocumented immigrants. Police used tear gas and pepper balls, which emit pepper spray, on protesters. “I was gassed tonight for exercising my right to express my views,” said bartender Jordan Lauterbach. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat, had asked Trump to delay his trip to Phoenix, writing in The Washington Post that Trump “may be looking to light a match.”
Tiffany prices. The State Department spent more than $100,000 on car rentals in Italy for Tiffany Trump’s vacation. The car rental bills are just one of the ways Trump, his adult children with two ex-wives, and his current wife and young son are straining our nation’s finances. The Secret Service has already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime that were meant to last the entire year. Trump has traveled almost every weekend to his properties in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia. “The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” said Secret Service Director Randolph Alles. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.” Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago are estimated to cost at least $3 million each or more than $20 million. Taxpayers may pay more for Trump’s travel in one year than we did in former President Barack Obama’s two terms.
Featured Photo: U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and battle group (Navy photo).