"Sadly, we have a president unwilling and unable to even act like a commander in chief."
Two days after a helicopter crash that left one U.S. service member dead and six others wounded, Donald Trump has yet to publicly acknowledge the tragedy.
His silence on the deadly crash, which took place Friday in Logar Province, Afghanistan, is part of a broader pattern of repeated refusals to recognize fallen soldiers during his administration.
The Associated Press reported early Saturday morning that a member of the U.S. Army had died from wounds sustained in the previous day’s crash. The fallen service member was later identified by the Department of Defense as Chief Warrant Officer Jacob M. Sims, 36, of Juneau, Alaska.
Sims, a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) who was trained as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, is described as a “decorated veteran of numerous tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and, previously, Kosovo.” He was in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s ongoing Operation Resolute Support.
Col. Philip Ryan, commander of Sims’ unit, and General John Nicholson, commander of Operation Resolute Support, both released statements expressing their sadness and extending condolences to the families and friends of the fallen soldier, as well as those injured in Friday’s crash.
The ostensible commander in chief, however, has still not acknowledged Sims’ death.
In the two days since the fatal crash, Trump has tweeted 30 times from his personal Twitter account. Not a single one of those tweets mentioned the tragedy that left six service members injured and one dead.
Will Fischer, an Iraq War veteran and Director of Government Relations for the group VoteVets, told Shareblue Media that Trump’s failure to acknowledge Sims’ death fits into a pattern of disrespect for the sacrifices made by U.S. service members.
“Unfortunately, this president has made it abundantly clear that he will not recognize the fallen, unless forced to, and sees their sacrifice as not as important as whatever crazy, unhinged paranoia is in his head,” Fischer said.
“Sadly, we have a president unwilling and unable to even act like a commander in chief.”
This comes on the heels of Trump’s disgraceful treatment of Gold Star widow Myeshia Johnson, whose husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, was killed in an ISIS-led ambush in Niger on October 4.
In the weeks since the attack, Trump has refused to acknowledge the deadly ambush, leaving grieving family members to grapple with endless questions about what happened.
Instead of pledging to find answers about the Niger attack or vowing to hold the terrorists accountable, Trump spent his time accusing a fallen soldier’s widow of lying, picking a fight with a Gold Star family, and launching a week-long attack on the family’s close friend and advocate.
Now, as another military family grieves the loss of their loved one, Trump is once again nowhere to be found. When he should be honoring the life of a brave U.S. service member, Trump instead spent the weekend golfing and obsessively trying to recruit Republicans to take part in his effort to undermine the Russia investigation.
Little wonder that his approval numbers are plummeting, and that he is historically unpopular at this still early point in his presidency.
On Friday, Sims made the ultimate sacrifice as he bravely honored his commitment to defending the country from hostile foreign actors. His commander in chief, meanwhile, remains committed to sabotaging the Russia probe — and leaving the nation vulnerable to the very attacks from which U.S. service members risk their lives to defend the nation.