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Donald Trump under criticism for tweeting about his approval rating instead of 7 dead U.S. sailors

It's not the first time Trump has faced criticism for this.


Chris Tognotti


Posted on Jun 18, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 2:44 am CDT

Tragic news was confirmed by the U.S. Navy on Saturday night, as seven missing American sailors were declared dead following a destroyer’s collision with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan. A search had been on for the missing sailors for days, and although it’s not clear whether all of their bodies were recovered, the Navy’s announcement of their deaths is a punctuation mark on a grim, seemingly random accident.

One which the president of the United States has yet to comment on.

President Donald Trump last referenced the search for the missing sailors in a 7am ET tweet on Saturday morning, sending his “thoughts and prayers” to their families and thanking the Japanese for their assistance. But since the sailors were reported to have died about 12 hours later, there have been no further words, whether memorials or condolences, from the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

This could change as time goes by, but he’s already drawn sharp criticism for failing to comment on the tragedy with appropriate speed. Especially since he evidently had the time to do so―he’s already tweeted multiple times on Sunday morning, focusing instead on bragging about his approval rating and calling the widely reported obstruction of justice investigation he’s facing a “witch hunt.”

This conspicuous oversight on Trump’s part, whether a display of his priorities or a simple bout of forgetfulness, was noticed by the denizens of social media.

Trump’s sentiment is actually similar to when he congratulated himself after the Pulse nightclub shooting and for pointing to himself when Dwyane Wade’s cousin was shot in Chicago.

It remains to be seen if and when Trump will acknowledge the deaths of the sailors―it’d frankly be startling for him not to. He also made no mention of Father’s Day in his trio of early morning tweets—which, while still not honoring the dead, would have nonetheless been a more positive message.

So far, however, he’s declined to devote any time to either. It just goes to show that when a president has a voracious social media habit and a notoriously shaky sense of what is and is not appropriate behavior, it’s not only what they say that’s bound to make news. It’s also what they don’t say.

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*First Published: Jun 18, 2017, 11:30 am CDT