PARIS – President Donald Trump has canceled a planned visit Saturday to a cemetery for Americans who died in the First World War, the White House in which the bad weather was named that his helicopter is based.
Trump was scheduled to lay a wreath and observe a moment of silence at the American Cemetery and Memorial Aisne-Marne, located next to Belleau Wood and about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Paris.
Instead, Trump spent most of the day after a meeting and lunch with French President Macron in the home of the American Ambassador, where he stayed at events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Attending in place of Trump were the Chief of Staff of the White House, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly; the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford; and various members of the White House staff. The Battle of Belleau Wood was a critical conflict in the war and a crucial meeting in the history of the Marine Corps.
The secret service decides when it is safe to fly with Marine One, the helicopter of the president. Paris was the largest part of the Saturday covered with clouds with drizzling rain.
Trump would Sunday with a dozen world leaders take part in a ceremony in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe on the armistice. He would deliver to the American cemetery and the Suresnes monument, five miles west of Paris, before returning to Washington.
The cancellation of Saturday's visit drew criticism from those who say that regardless of the weather, the president should have found a way to travel to Aisne-Marne.
Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama, accused Trump of "cutting off honoring American soldiers who died for us" and said the White House should have had a fall-back option.
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