Donald Trump spoke without an umbrella during a cold, rainy Veterans Day ceremony in France, following criticism that he skipped an event yesterday due to light rain.
The ceremony at Suresnes Cemetery near Paris was Trump’s final scheduled stop before returning to the U.S.
“This is certainly the highlight of the trip,” Trump said, after putting down his umbrella to speak.
At one point during his speech, Trump made light of the driving rain telling one guest under an overhang, “you look so comfortable up there under cover while we are getting drenched.”
Trump spoke after taking heavy criticism for canceling a visit Saturday to another military cemetery farther from Paris.
The Saturday event was canceled because rain made helicopter transport more hazardous and security more difficult along a long driving route. However, many opined that Trump could’ve made the trip if he really wanted to be there.
Kelly and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the trip instead via motorcade.
Trump delivered a Veterans Day speech focusing specifically on World War I history and the legacy of that war’s American troops, more than 1,000 of whom are buried at Suresnes. Sunday marks the centennial of the wars end.
Trump spoke for roughly 10 minutes in a light rain, praising the contributions of French and American soldiers who died to secure a “great” but “costly” victory 100 years ago.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, military leaders, World War II veterans and several members of Congress were among those in attendance.
Several audience members sat in rain ponchos or under umbrellas, while a staffer at one point took a squeegee on stage to remove rain from around the podium in anticipation of the president’s arrival.
Trump was absent earlier Sunday as dozens of world leaders walked side-by-side in the rain along the Champs Elysses to commemorate the moments the war ended. The president arrived separately due to “security concerns,” the White House said.
Twitter quickly called Trump out:
Trump just complained about "getting drenched" at a WWI ceremony. LOL.
— JoeMyGod (@JoeMyGod) November 11, 2018
— Jerry Young (@JerryYo_tricity) November 11, 2018
Trump Speaking to a veteran "you look so comfortable up there under shelter as we are getting drenched, your very smart people". What an a$$.
— lmajestic (@soapmaker10) November 11, 2018
"You look so comfortable up there under shelter as we're getting drenched, you're very smart people" – Donald Trump thanks the Second World War veterans at the Suresnes American Cemetery #LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/zytIBPFXlb
— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 11, 2018