Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he was only following orders from the Secret Service when he skipped a ceremony honoring soldiers who died in World War I during his visit to France last week.
Trump faced heavy criticism after the White House announced Saturday the president was skipping the ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery outside of Paris because of logistical and security concerns related to the rain and visibility. Other world leaders attended, and Trump was criticized for ducking out because of the weather, but Trump said it was logistically impossible to attend.
“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 Cemetary in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!” Trump tweeted 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 Cemetary in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Sunday that driving to the memorial would have taken two and a half hours each way and would have closed substantial portions of Paris roads on short notice.
“President Trump did not want to cause that kind of unexpected disruption to the city and its people,” she said.
On Sunday, Trump stood in the rain without an umbrella looking sad for the cameras to give remarks at a ceremony at Suresnes American Cemetery before heading back to the U.S.
Twitter quickly called Trump out:
Why is it no other president have encountered weather related problems such as yours. You didnt attend Arlington Cemetary ceremonies yesterday. But a real president did attend. President Obama.
— Jimmy Imhoff (@imhoff_jimmy) November 13, 2018
Somehow the weather wasn't a problem for every other leader.
Also, why weren't you at Arlington yesterday?
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) November 13, 2018
— James Romano (@JRomano312) November 13, 2018
By the way, you had an opportunity to show your respect in Arlington yesterday. Was there zero visibility keeping you away? Did the Secret Service say no? Was it too far for you to travel there as well? We’ll wait to hear your excuses, #CaptainBoneSpurs
— Annetta Goss (@Nonna_x3) November 13, 2018
Why didn't you have a back-up plan already in place? I'm sure the Secret Service, who risk their lives to protect the president and his family, appreciate being thrown under the bus and blamed for what is an obvious White House planning issue. https://t.co/kxFhS4JoUo
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) November 13, 2018
What a fucking coward: he disrespects our troops and then blames the proud, patriotic men and women of our Secret Service who literally protect his life. https://t.co/OG5KTwMrPo
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) November 13, 2018
He just confirmed the news. So … how is it fake?
Also, the French — the FRENCH — showed up yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery for Veteran's Day. Trump didn't.
What, did the Secret Service keep him from Arlington too? https://t.co/CkS0EbjQy0
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) November 13, 2018
Now explain why you skipped going to Arlington National Cemetery yesterday
(It is 2.6 miles from the White House, so your below lie doesn't even work there) https://t.co/FKSMHQwHCO
— Peter W. Singer (@peterwsinger) November 13, 2018