Trump’s motorcade to cemetery would have disrupted roads, White House says

U.S. President Donald Trump is seen at the Elysee Palace on the eve of the commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day 100 years after the end of the First World War in Paris France

The White House on Monday confirmed that President Donald Trump will not visit Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran's Day.

The US President had been scheduled to visit the American war cemetery at Belleau, about 90 kilometres east of the French capital, on Saturday but cancelled the visit.

Trump is attending centennial commemorations in Paris this weekend to mark the Armistice that ended World War I. November 11, 2018.

While Trump was not in attendance for the visit, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford went to the American cemetery. But light steady rain and a low cloud ceiling prevented his helicopter from traveling to the site.

He added he also made a speech to commemorate United States soldiers killed in battle at the Suresnes American Cemetery in Paris the following day during continued heavy rain.

The no-show enraged veterans' groups and world leaders-Nicholas Soames, a member of the British Parliament and grandson of Winston Churchill called Trump "pathetic" and "inadequate"-and led thousands to take to Twitter to remind Trump of what Barack Obama did on the numerous occasions that he encountered a few raindrops".


But following a series of tweets where he furiously set his sights on French President Emmanuel Macron, Mr Trump hit out at the criticism he has faced and explained his reasons for not attending.

"I helped plan all of President Obama's trips for 8 years", he wrote on Twitter.

White House officials also cited security concerns in hastily arranging a motorcade.

The cancellation drew derision from some critics, with several suggesting he was afraid of messing up his hair and others noting that the rain had not stopped French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel or Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from visiting memorials. "There is always a rain option".

Earlier, Trump and his wife Melania joined dozens of other leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, in marking the centenary of the Armistice at the Arc de Triomphe war monument on the Champs-Elysees.

It was not clear what Trump made a decision to do instead of attending the cemetery.

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