Donald Trump responded to the seizure of an American underwater drone the way he responds to everything: by going off half-cocked on Twitter. However, it turns out that the crisis was over before he even sent out his first nasty tweet. And guess what? He wouuld have known this if he had bothered to get his daily intelligence briefing.
To be fair, it is possible that either Trump or his aides were informed that the situation had been resolved just a few hours after it began, with the Chinese agreeing to return the “underwater unmanned vehicle.” But from the content of his tweets, it sure doesn’t seem that way.
Trump started off at 8:57 a.m. on Saturday morning with a tweet that put his ignorance on display and embarrassed the nation yet again.
After being smacked down by everyone on Twitter with even half a brain, including the actual freaking dictionary, Trump later swapped out his tweet for a version that used the word “unprecedented” rather than “unpresidented.”
When the news that China had agreed to return the drone broke shortly before noon on Saturday, Trump transition team spokesman Jason Miller couldn’t wait to claim that Trump and his little whiny tweet deserved the credit for this turn of events.
By Saturday night, Trump was in a different mood and rather than stomping his feet he decided he’d rather just give China the middle finger instead.
But U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus found out that China would be returning the UUV four hours before Trump sent out his first misspelled tweet.
Baucus, a former Democratic senator from Montana, lodged his first protest that day, as did U.S. military representatives to their Chinese counterparts. Late Saturday afternoon Beijing time ― pre-dawn 3:30 a.m. in Washington ― Baucus relayed word that China had agreed to return the device, according to the State Department. That handover took place Tuesday, near the same location as the original incident.
Trump will become President of the United States one month from today. (Cue chills up the spine.) He should damn well know better. How would he know, you ask? Well, that’s what those boring intelligence briefings are for. You know, the one’s Trump says just tell you the same stuff every day? If Trump had gotten his “Presidential Daily Brief” before launching into a temper tantrum on Twitter, he would have known that the entire situation had already been resolved.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images