Donald Trump’s visit to the Belleau Wood cemetery and battlefield was canceled Saturday, as rainy weather across France prevented the planned helicopter excursion to mark one of the deadliest World War I battle sites.
“The President and First Lady’s trip to Ainse-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial has been canceled due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather,” the White House said in a statement. “An American delegation led by Chief of Staff General John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford will attend on their behalf.”
The site — where some 1,800 American soldiers were killed over three weeks of battle during World War I — is some 55 miles from downtown Paris, making a drive logistically challenging for the president’s large motorcade.
Trump is in Paris to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of the “Great War.” He’s planning to attend an Armistice Day memorial event Sunday at the Arc de Triomphe with other world leaders, and also speak at a Veterans Day ceremony at Suresnes cemetery before returning to Washington.
Former top Obama aide Ben Rhodes slammed Trump for cancelling a cemetery visit due to a little rain.
Rhodes, who served as a political adviser and speechwriter for Obama, later responded to a tweet noting that the previous White House would regularly have contingency plans for bad weather.
“I helped plan all of President Obama’s trips for 8 years,” he wrote. “There is always a rain option. Always.”
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
Twitter is furious:
Trump has never visited US service members fighting in Afghanistan, and now he won’t honor the fallen at a World War I cemetery because of a little rain. He is a weak, selfish, pathetic old man.
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) November 10, 2018
But bottom line: Trump willfully insisted on an unnecessary trip to France to mark the WW1 centenary -then once he got there shirked on grounds of weather the job of honoring those who fought and died in rain and mud 100 years ago https://t.co/7u3qZCmBRB pic.twitter.com/5TX1WLt9k8
— David Frum (@davidfrum) November 10, 2018
Donald Trump complained about having to stand in the rain, to speak about the massacre in Pittsburgh, because it messed his hair up (more).
Today, he will skip honoring fallen American heroes of WWI, and stay in his hotel room, because of some rain.#VeteransDayWeekend
— VoteVets (@votevets) November 10, 2018
-Trump sits in hotel rather than stand in the rain to honor US troops
– in pay-for-play deal, Trump gives GOP donor Medal of Freedom
it's not even noon, folks.
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) November 10, 2018
2,288 American troops, mostly Marines, are buried at #AisneMarne American Cemetery, where #Trump will not be visiting because of rain. They died in the mud of the Battle of Belleau Wood, which the French later renamed "The Woods of the Marine Brigade."
Here they lie: pic.twitter.com/0SDTMgakvT
— TJ (@TJishsh) November 10, 2018
Trump: cancels visit to WWI memorial before Veterans Day bc of rain
— Gary Lee (@whoisgarylee) November 10, 2018
Donald Trump literally avoided attending a World War I ceremony in France today because he was afraid of "light rain".
And we are the snowflakes?
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) November 10, 2018
Unlike Trump, a little rain never stopped President Obama from honoring our fallen war heroes on Veterans Day pic.twitter.com/wFYOgTXGt0
— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) November 10, 2018
Trump cancelled his trip to a cemetery in France to honor the lives of American soldiers buried there because of a little rain.
Just gonna leave this here pic.twitter.com/5aXBASJAvC
— Nunca Trump (@NeverTrumpTexan) November 10, 2018
Mind you, French President Emanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had no problem showing up:
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel unveil commemorative plaque at the spot where the Armistice ending World War One was signed 100 years ago #armistice100https://t.co/DQkmIoqdap pic.twitter.com/SaxkbAjcSS
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 10, 2018