US Officials: Navy to Relieve 7th Fleet Commander After Collision
The U.S. Navy is expected to relieve the commander of the 7th Fleet on Wednesday after several collisions involving warships, including one Monday that killed 10 U.S. sailors.
Officials told multiple news agencies that Navy Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Scott Swift would remove Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin after meeting with him in Japan.
Aucoin was due to retire in January, but his departure was moved up after the USS John S. McCain became the second U.S. guided-missile destroyer to collide with a commercial vessel in as many months.
Scott said at a news conference Tuesday that divers have recovered human remains from the ship, which suffered "significant damage."
U.S. investigators are trying to determine what led to the collision with a Liberian tanker ship near the Strait of Malacca. Navy photos show a gaping hole below the waterline on the destroyer's port side. Some sleeping areas and communications rooms flooded as a result.
In response to the incident, the Navy ordered an immediate operational pause across the U.S. fleet.
The White House Press Office released a statement Tuesday mourning the deaths of the 10 U.S. sailors..
"As the Navy begins the process of recovering our fallen sailors, our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends," the statement said.
In Arizona Rally, Trump Attacks Media, Calling Them 'Bad People'
President Donald Trump went on an extended tirade against the media on Tuesday evening, equating reporters with traitors calling them “bad people who “don’t like our country.”
During a political rally in the Phoenix Convention Center, the president recited previous statements he made criticizing neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan following the fatal August 12 clash in Charlottesville, Virginia. But Trump omitted his most controversial words he used to blame the violence “on both sides.”
Trump also accused the media of not reporting his comments.
“Did they report I said racism is evil?”
“No!,” the crowd loudly replied.
“I’m a person who wants to tell the truth,” Trump declared. “I’m an honest person.”
Arizona's two Republican U.S. senators, who have both clashed with the president, skipped the event. Trump criticized both John McCain and Jeff Flake without mentioning their names.
Trump’s presence in the Western state, where he beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by 3.5 percent in last year's presidential election, drew tens of thousands of his supporters and protesters to downtown Phoenix, and intense precautions by security forces hoping to prevent violence.
Tuesday’s event in Arizona was Trump’s eighth rally in eight months for his 2020 re-election campaign.