French President Emmanual Macron delivers remarks on the armistice that ended WWI, and decries the ‘nationalism’ that he claims is resurfacing.
WASHINGTON – Still fighting political flaps that arose during his weekend in France, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the Secret Service nixed a visit to a cemetery in the rain because the motorcade would have shut down Paris.
“When the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving,” Trump tweeted. “Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown.”
Trump took heat back home after the White House announced it had canceled a trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial near Paris “due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather,” including rain and fog.
The statement said nothing about a possible motorcade. Trump, who traveled to Paris for a series of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, spent Saturday afternoon out of the public eye.
Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council for President Barack Obama, called Trump’s second-guessing of the Secret Service “a lie.”
The Secret Service “advises on security but the President makes the final call,” Vietor said on Twitter. “He chose to skip the memorial.”
Critics of the canceled visit included Winston Churchill’s grandson.
World War I soldiers “died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate Donald Trump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen,” said Nicholas Soames, the late former U.K. prime minister’s grandson and a member of British Parliament.
Others pointed out world leaders such as Emmanuel Macron of France, Angela Merkel of Germany and Justin Trudeau of Canada managed to attend events Saturday despite the rain.
The Aisne-Marne commemoration Saturday featured an American delegation led by Chief of Staff General John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford.
Trump cited the canceled visit after a tweet storm directed at Macron, who over the weekend challenged the president’s “America First” foreign policy.
In his cemetery tweet, Trump pointed out that he gave a speech – in the rain – at another cemetery, Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in Paris, on Sunday.
“Speech next day at American Cemetery in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!” Trump tweeted.
That cemetery visit was reported on extensively.
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