In an incredibly rare admission, Donald Trump has has admitted that he made a mistake.
Speaking with Chris Wallace in an interview which will air this weekend on Fox News Sunday, Trump said that he should have attended a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day.
“I should have done that,” Trump said. “I was extremely busy on calls for the country, we did a lot of calling as you know.”
Wallace pressed Trump.
“But this is Veterans Day,” the Fox News host said.
“I could have done that,” Trump replied. “As you know I just left the day before the American Cemetery and I probably think — and that was one where it was raining as hard as you can imagine and I made a speech at the American Cemetery the day before. And I probably, you know, in retrospect, I should have. And I did last year, and I will virtually every year. 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 — doing other things.”
Previous presidents have made a point of speaking at Arlington on Veterans Day when they are in Washington D.C. for it. Former President Bill Clinton did so for the eight years of his presidency, and Barack Obama did so for six — with Vice President Joe Biden speaking there twice. Members of the media took to Twitter to respond to the current commander-in-chief’s decision to skip out on the tradition.
Twitter had some thoughts:
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) November 16, 2018
Trump on being a good President and good human being:
"I should have done that," but says he was busy being a terrible President and terrible human being.
— nate (@someguynate) November 16, 2018
What about all those veterans, dead and disabled service members that were busy living their lives, doing their jobs, doing important things that were sent to combat… They didn't get to pull Trump's draft dodging "I'm too busy with important things" gets to stay home card!
— JustBeCause (@Ivote4US2) November 16, 2018
I am a retired infantry officer (22 years active). What Trump did – or did not do – on Veterans Day weekend in Paris and DC was dishonorable. Unforgiveable. I'll have none of it.
— Rick Mazzoli (@RickMazzoli) November 16, 2018
There were a lot of calls. They were big calls. As you know, I only make big calls. Lots of big calls. They were all for the Country. All the big calls. But of course you know this. As a matter of fact, I’m going to make Mexico pay for the calls. – @realDonaldTrump
— GuinnessDog (@GuinnessDog) November 16, 2018
Trump has also been criticized for his failure to visit U.S. service members serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other places where they are fighting overseas.
The president has defended his record as pro-military, saying he has boosted Pentagon spending and helped enact reforms for veterans’ health care.