At 5:24PM ET Sunday afternoon, the USS John S. McCain, a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, collided with a Liberian merchant vessel off the coast of Singapore.
According to a statement by the U.S. Navy, ten sailors on board are still missing, and search and rescue efforts are underway. Five sailors were injured in the collision, four of whom were medically evacuated to a Singapore hospital.
While the ship suffered damage to its port side, it was able to sail back to port at Changi Naval Base in Singapore on its own.
When asked about the collision on Sunday, President Trump initially had an oddly muted response, saying only:
"That's too bad."
In response to my question about the USS John S. McCain collision @POTUS at @WhiteHouse South Portico replies “that… https://t.co/1EXixCQt2D— Steve Herman (@Steve Herman) 1503277858.0
That didn't go over well.
Imagine the reaction if Obama, Bush, Clinton said "that's too bad" in response to missing soldiers on a military vessel.— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman) 1503280968.0
"That's too bad" is an insult to every American serving in the armed forces and their families. #TrumpResign https://t.co/HI4x8GwKij— Andrea Chalupa (@Andrea Chalupa) 1503282158.0
"Best regards" to citizens injured and murdered by neo-nazis; "That's too bad" about missing sailors serving our co… https://t.co/JgZPjz3BFn— Sarah Kendzior (@Sarah Kendzior) 1503282271.0
Five U.S. sailors injured, 10 missing. Trump: "That's too bad." If that were Obama's reaction, Fox News would scandalize it for a month.— Matt Fuller (@Matt Fuller) 1503280652.0
Some saw it as a staffing failure.
Just thinking about "That's too bad" a bit more. It obviously says a lot about Trump as a person, but it's also a massive staffing failure.— Matt Fuller (@Matt Fuller) 1503287851.0
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Late Sunday, however, President Trump took to Twitter to offer a more appropriate message from the commander in chief.
Thoughts & prayers are w/ our @USNavy sailors aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain where search & rescue efforts are underway. https://t.co/DQU0zTRXNU— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1503284461.0
Sarah Huckabee Sanders also tweeted from her official @PressSec account Sunday night:
Our hearts and prayers go out to all the brave men and women aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain— Stephanie Grisham (@Stephanie Grisham) 1503284440.0
Senator John McCain, whose father and grandfather are the namesakes of the damaged destroyer, offered his family's prayers as the search and rescue mission got underway Sunday evening.
Cindy & I are keeping America's sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight - appreciate the work o… https://t.co/6SxKkwhd89— John McCain (@John McCain) 1503273777.0
Photos posted online appeared to show a gaping hole in the USS John S. McCain's hull:
The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision, in Singapore waters August 21, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood - RTS1CLFM
KD Handalan, SuperLynx, kapal APMM dan pesawat TUDM dikerah bantu SAR 10 anggota #USSJohnSMcCain yg hilang setelah… https://t.co/tqaIhBbOCU— Kamarul (@Kamarul) 1503283572.0
This collision comes just months after seven sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald crashed into a Japanese merchant ship this past June.
An investigation into Sunday's collision is underway.