The families of three sailors killed in August say they received White House condolence letters last week, days after President Trump claimed on Monday to outperform his predecessors in making condolence calls.
The three men were among 10 sailors to die aboard the U.S.S. John S. McCain when the destroyer collided with a commercial ship near Singapore on Aug. 21.
"Honestly, I feel the letter is reactionary to the media storm brewing over how these things have been handled," Timothy Eckels Sr., whose son Timothy Jr. died in the incident, told The Atlantic. Eckels said he received the letter Friday, but that it was dated Wednesday.
"I've received letters from McCain, Mattis, and countless other officials before his," he said. "I wasn't sure if the fact that the accident that caused Timothy's death has still yet to officially have the cause determined played into the timing of our president's response."
The families of Corey Ingram and John M. Hoagland III also told the publication they also received letters last week.
After Trump's Monday remarks, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., alleged that he made insensitive remarks during a call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was one of four soldiers killed recently in Niger. Trump denied it and clashed with Johnson during a week-long controversy.