President-elect Trump took to Twitter early this morning to express outrage over an incident that occurred in international waters late Thursday, 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay, in the Philippines. A U.S. Navy underwater drone was taken out of the water and seized by Chinese personnel. According to a Pentagon press release, “the Department of Defense has called upon China to immediately return an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that China unlawfully seized on Dec. 15 in the South China Sea while it was being recovered by a U.S. Navy oceanographic survey ship.”
The United States has filed a formal diplomatic complaint, with GOP officials in Washington calling for a swift response and according to an Associated Press report in The NY Times this morning, “China said Saturday that its military was in contact with its American counterparts on ‘appropriately handling’ the Chinese navy’s seizure of a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider.”
Mr. Trump tweeted early this morning to weigh in on the incident.
“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.”-@realDonaldTrump
The tweet was corrected for spelling hours later, as the incoming president had intended to say, “unprecedented,” but not before the hashtag #unpresidented gained immediate traction from critics of the gaffe. At the time of this article’s release, there were nearly 13,000 tweets carrying the moniker “unpresidented.” Nearly all of the tweets poked fun at Trump’s misnomer. A few notable tweets were the following.
This isn’t the first time the PEOTUS has garnered media attention with his tweeting. Using the social media platform to hint at cabinet appointments and policy shifts of late, he has also expressed outrage over an incident involving his Vice President-elect, Mike Pence, and the cast of the Broadway show, Hamilton, attacked the quality of Saturday Night Live and Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of him, and singled out NBC News, CNN, and Vanity Fair. He has also used Twitter to criticize China since winning the U.S. election on November 8, justifying his bold diplomatic move of accepting an official call from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, earlier this month by tweeting this.
“Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the U.S. doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!-@realDonaldTrump”
Attention to Mr. Trump’s misspellings has been a point of contention for his supporters, as the frequent statements associated with his Twitter account have gone hand in hand with grammatical blunders. Trump is not the first elected official to endure criticism over spelling, and in 1988 Vice President Dan Quayle was widely chastised over his misspelling of the word “potato” at a spelling bee. The VP apparently mistakenly corrected a child who spelled it properly, insisting that the word ended with an “e”.
In the final days leading up to the election, Trump was noticeably absent from Twitter and it was reported that members of his inner circle had more or less barred him from any tweets, for fear that he may inadvertently cause an issue that could cost him votes. After his victory, his Twitter activity resumed with the frequency we are more accustomed to seeing. The misspelling of “unprecedented” is not the first time he has flubbed the alphabet, and Aaron Bandler of The Daily Wire published an article in May titled, “Trump’s Top 11 Tweets With Misspellings.”
[Featured Image by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images]