Donald Trump is under fire after he found time on Sunday morning to brag about his 50 percent approval rating, but could not issue a statement of condolence for the seven U.S. Navy sailors killed after their destroyer collided with a merchant vessel near Japan.
There had been a search stretching out several hours for the seven missing sailors, who were confirmed dead this weekend after their bodies were found in the ship’s flooded compartments. The incident was among the worst non-combat disasters in recent history for the U.S. Navy.
Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, 7th Fleet commander, who met family members of the deceased sailors, honored the members for their sacrifice.
“This has been a difficult day,” Aucoin said, via the Washington Examiner. “I am humbled by the bravery and tenacity of the Fitzgerald crew. Now that the ship is in Yokosuka, I ask that you help the families by maintaining their privacy as we continue the search for our shipmates.”
The bodies of the other missing sailors were reportedly found later.
Many other leaders from across the political spectrum have also posted messages of condolences and honored the sailors for their sacrifice.
Donald Trump had initially made reference to the search, tweeting in the hours after the crash was first reported and saying he was sending “thoughts and prayers” to the families of those missing.
Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of USS Fitzgerald and their families. Thank you to our Japanese allies for their assistance. https://t.co/d1l5ctjNyB— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 17, 2017
But in the hours after the sailors were confirmed to be dead, Donald Trump’s attention was elsewhere. On early Sunday morning, hours after the U.S. Navy made the grim announcement that all seven missing sailors had died, Trump had his mind on his own popularity.
The president tweeted about a recently released Rasmussen poll that put his approval at 50 percent, which is close to 15 points higher than most other polls that instead put him in the mid- to high-30 percent range.
The new Rasmussen Poll, one of the most accurate in the 2016 Election, just out with a Trump 50% Approval Rating.That's higher than O's #'s!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2017
That drew quite a bit of criticism for Donald Trump online, with many on Twitter pointing out his seemingly self-serving omission.
As of 8:47am, not a word about the sailors whose bodies were recovered. At least we know our commander in chief's priority - HIMSELF. pic.twitter.com/9N0kfEK4sj— VoteVets (@votevets) June 18, 2017
The Daily Dot also published a story about Trump’s preference to brag about his poll numbers rather than honor the dead sailors, comparing it other misplaced boasts.
“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,” the report noted.
But it appears the criticisms may not have reached the president. As of late Sunday afternoon, Donald Trump had failed to tweet any kind of message about the dead sailors.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]