Donald Trump Criticized For Skipping Visit To World War I Memorial In Paris Due To Rain
President Donald Trump drew severe criticism over the weekend for missing a ceremony in Paris to honor soldiers who died during World War I due to rain.
The White House made the announcement of Trump’s decision on Saturday, one day before Armistice Day, or Veteran’s Day. Other world leaders who were present at the memorial — which was held at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery near Paris — included French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a former Marine general, led the U.S. delegation at the ceremony alongside Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford.
Trump cancelled attending a WW1 memorial at a U.S. cemetery in France because of some rain on Saturday, but Merkel, Macron and Trudeau managed to do their bit https://t.co/VB06gMKzJa pic.twitter.com/U15cwHiN8f
— Luke Baker (@BakerLuke) November 10, 2018
Hey reporters in Paris with Trump. Can someone ask him to cite some basic facts about WW1? You can even use this ‘History for Kids’ page to make it as easy as possible… https://t.co/HFBPeUHoUh
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) November 10, 2018
Macron also seemed to give a subtle rebuke to Trump in a speech he gave at the ceremony in which he described the difference between patriotism and nationalism.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism, nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said. “In saying ‘our interests first and who care about the others,’ we erase what a nation has that’s most precious, what makes it live, what is most important: its moral values.”
Trump slammed the 40-year-old French president on Twitter for his “very insulting” remarks in support of greater integration among the military in Europe.
President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
People who blasted Trump for skipping the memorial included former Barack Obama administration official Ben Rhodes and The Atlantic writer David Frum, a conservative Trump critic and former speechwriter for George W. Bush.
— Nicholas Soames (@NSoames) November 10, 2018
I helped plan all of President Obama’s trips for 8 years. There is always a rain option. Always. https://t.co/exZNlONQOp
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) November 10, 2018
It’s incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary – and then remain in his hotel room watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to the Americans who gave their lives in France for the victory gained 100 years ago tomorrow
— David Frum (@davidfrum) November 10, 2018