US Navy sailors instructed to 'clap like we're at a strip club' before Mike Pence's arrival on USS Truman
The ship's public information officer later confirmed reports of the comment, and said the issue is being probed
Before Vice President Mike Pence's arrival onboard the USS Harry S. Truman on Tuesday, the United States Navy sailors were reportedly instructed by the ship's senior enlisted sailor to "clap like we're at a strip club" for him.
The ship's public information officer later confirmed the report of the comments made before Pence's arrival at the Truman in Norfolk, Virginia, according to CNN. The officer, Lt. Cmdr. Laura Stegherr, also said that it was an "inappropriate" statement and the issue is being probed currently.
"We can confirm that this statement was made by USS Harry S. Truman's Command Master Chief to Truman's Sailors, prior to the arrival of the Vice President," Stegherr said in a statement.
"This statement was inappropriate, and this issue is being addressed by Truman's leadership," the officer added.
The vice president, on Tuesday, toured the carrier and delivered a speech to the sailors on board.
The Department of Defense and top Navy officers, for weeks, have been defending the decision to retire USS Truman two decades early. The decision was made in an attempt to free up funds for investments in next-level weapons like artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, and directed-energy weapons. The move was also made to make the US more competitive in the era of renewed great-power competition.
To all of the men & women who serve on the USS Truman – let me deliver this simple message: Thank you for your service. pic.twitter.com/KXFug61wf9— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 30, 2019
Pence, in his speech, however, completely upended that plan on the orders of President Donald Trump.
"I told [the president] about some of the discussion about possibly retiring the USS Truman. We talked about her record of success, and the president told me, 'You go tell that crew that we're not retiring the Truman,'" Pence said, according to WTKR.
I am overriding the Decommission Order of the magnificent aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, built in 1998 (fairly new), and considered one of the largest and finest in the world. It will be updated at a fraction of the cost of a new one (which also are being built)!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2019
"We are keeping the best carrier in the world in the fight. We are not retiring the Truman," the vice president said. "The USS Harry S. Truman is going to be giving 'em hell for many more years to come," he added.