Joe Biden responded "no comment" to a question about the deadly wildfires in Hawaii as he enjoyed another beach vacation in Delaware.
The White House later said he was "praying" for the victims of the tragedy, as outrage over Biden's tone mounted.
"As the president said last week that he and the first lady are praying for families who are grieving their loved ones and for everyone who has suffered devastating losses of land and property as a result of the wildfires in Maui," spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.
Many couldn't help seeing Biden's response as the latest example of his failure to prioritize America.
Biden was asked about the deadly fires in Hawaii where nearly 100 are dead and over 1,000 still missing
His response: “No comment”
He just destroyed his 2024 campaign
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) August 14, 2023
Biden's rival President Trump released a two-minute speech on the disaster, in which he called Biden's response "absolutely horrible and unacceptable."
"Crooked Joe Biden, the most incompetent president in the history of our country, with a laugh and a smile, said he had 'no comment' on the death and the tragedy. To say ‘no comment’ is oftentimes fine, but to be smiling when you say it, especially against such a tragedy as this, is absolutely horrible and unacceptable."
Trump invoked Biden's aloof reaction to the train derailment in Palestine, Ohio, earlier this year. Biden has yet to visit the town.
"It is a disgraceful thing that Joe Biden refuses to help or comment on the tragedy in Maui, just as he refused to help or comment on the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio for a very, very long time."
The context of Biden relaxing on the beach in Delaware - where he has already spent a significant portion of his presidency - didn't help the president's poor optics any. But Jean-Pierre insisted Biden is "deeply concerned."
"He's going to make sure the state has everything it needs from the federal government to recover because he is deeply concerned, and he's going to continue to be there for the government of Hawaii for as long as it takes," Jean-Pierre said.
And yet, Biden - who is busy touring the country to promote "Bidenomics" - has no plans to visit Hawaii.
He was expected to address the disaster during a speech about his agenda in Wisconsin - an electoral battleground 4,000 miles from Hawaii - on Tuesday.