Trump Says He Did Not Visit Arlington Cemetery On Veterans Day Because He Was “Busy On Calls”
President Donald Trump expressed regret that he did not attended the Veterans Day service at Arlington Cemetery this week, saying that he “should have” gone, but was held up because he had to make “calls for the country.”
In an interview with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace, President Trump told the anchor that he did not attend the Monday service because he was tied up with matters of state, though he now wishes he had gone.
“I should have done that, I was extremely busy on calls for the country, we did a lot of calling as you know,” Trump said to Wallace, speaking about the Veterans Day event.
Prior to the Fox News interview, the president made an appearance at the Suresnes American Memorial near Paris in order to commemorate the centennial of the armistice that ended World War I.
Trump commented that he assumed his appearance at the cemetery in France was enough to celebrate the sacrifices of the American armed forces.
“But we had come in very late at night and I had just left, literally, the American Cemetery in Paris and I really probably assumed that was fine and I was extremely busy because of affairs of state,” Trump said.
While in France the president had the opportunity to attend a separate service celebrating veterans, but was prevented from doing so due to heavy rain grounding his helicopter.
“By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetery in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!” the president said in a tweet on Tuesday.
By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetery in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
An anonymous source told Vanity Fair that the reason Trump failed to attend the separate service was due to concerns that the rain would mess up his hair.
Trump has campaigned fiercely on behalf of veterans and is known for his verbose support of the military. He received significant criticism for failing to host a public event on Veterans Day.