A source with direct knowledge of these matters tells that the senior staff at the White House, including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, did not brief President Donald Trump on the collision the Navy destroyer USS John McCain had with an oil tanker near Singapore before he originally seemingly dismissed the incident saying, “that’s too bad.”
Trump later, after receiving more information on it, tweeted that he hopes for the best for the lost sailors. The collision left 10 sailors missing and another five injured.
“That’s too bad,” Trump said when responding to shouted press questions about the collision of the USS John McCain with an oil tanker, per a White House pool report earlier in the evening.
Many took the comment to be disrespectful and something that critics would not let previous presidents get away with.
“The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Strait of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21,” the press release states:
There are currently 10 Sailors missing and five injured. Four of the injured were medically evacuated by a Republic of Singapore Navy Puma helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries. The fifth injured Sailor does not require further medical attention. The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore. The ship is currently sailing under its own power and heading to Changi Naval Base. At this point, no fuel or oil is visible on the water’s surface near the ship. Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities. In addition to tug boats out of Singapore, RSN Fearless-class patrol ships RSS Gallant (97), RSS Resilience (82), RSN helicopters and Singaporean Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are currently in the area to render assistance. An MH-60S helicopter from the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) is in the area providing search and rescue assistance. An additional MH-60S helicopter and MV-22 Osprey are expected to arrive soon. Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000. Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. Damage control efforts continue while the extent of damage is being determined. The incident will be investigated.
A source with direct knowledge of these matters told Breitbart News that the original mishap from Trump that caused the “that’s too bad” flap comes because senior staff originally kept the president in the dark about the incident. The source specifically fingered new chief of staff Gen. John Kelly and embattled National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster. Kelly is a retired four star Marine General who served later as President Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security before his promotion to White House chief of staff. McMaster is an active duty three star U.S. Army Lieutenant General.
“What went wrong is the president was not briefed and was not kept abreast as the incident developed,” the source with direct knowledge told Breitbart News late Sunday evening. “This is part of a bigger pattern of growing evidence of disrespect for the president and manipulating the information that is given to him similar to the decision with Afghanistan. The blame for this rests solely on the shoulders of two individuals — General H.R. McMaster and General Kelly — both of whom as flag officers should know better than to keep the commander-in-chief in the dark on these types of issues.”