Trump, Pence miss Veterans Day observance at Arlington Cemetery

Share

Trump returned to Washington on Sunday evening after a weekend in France, where he attended events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. The president paid tribute earlier in the day to USA and allied soldiers killed in the so-called "war to end all wars".

Inclement weather stopped President Trump's helicopter getting him to a WWI memorial in Paris on Saturday, the White House said.

Trump spent the majority of Saturday at the U.S. ambassador's residence following a meeting and lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Despite the light rain, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a moving ceremony in Compiegne, northeast of Paris, to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the World War One armistice.

The Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial President Trump was meant to visit is the final resting place of some 2,289 American troops - many of whom were U.S. Marines - killed during the historic battle of Belleau Wood.

Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security adviser for President Barack Obama, accused Trump of "blowing off honoring American servicemen who died for us" and said the White House should have had a fallback option.

More news: Nets say LeVert could return from foot injury this season

In response to critics who said Trump could have made the trip by auto, the White House issued a statement Sunday night saying Trump did not want to disrupt traffic around Paris. However, bad weather grounded the president's helicopter and the official told Fox News there was no backup plan to travel by vehicle.

The president was scheduled to pay tribute at a ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, about 85 km (50 miles) east of Paris, with his wife Melania.

The tweets came on the heels of a trip on which Trump seemed isolated from other leaders.

On Sunday, Trump shrugged off the continuing wet weather to remember those who braved "rain, hail, snow, mud, poisonous gas, bullets and mortar" fire in pursuit of a "great, great" Allied victory.

Dispensing with his umbrella mid-speech, the Canadian prime minister said: "As we sit here in the rain, thinking how uncomfortable we must be these minutes as our suits get wet, and our hair gets wet ... it's all the more fitting that we remember on that day in Dieppe the rain wasn't rain, it was bullets."

"We want to help Europe but it has to be fair".

Share