Former Pentagon chief: Trump 'let down our country' by skipping WWI cemetery visit due to rain

Former Pentagon chief: Trump 'let down our country' by skipping WWI cemetery visit due to rain
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Former Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelSwalwell says he will convene a bipartisan 'blended cabinet' if elected president Overnight Energy: John Kerry hits Trump over climate change at hearing | Defends Ocasio-Cortez from GOP attacks | Dems grill EPA chief over auto emissions rollback plan For planet and country: National security's climate moment MORE on Monday ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE for skipping a visit to a World War I memorial in France because of rain.

"It was not that big a challenge or problem. It was an embarrassment," Hagel, who served in the Obama administration between 2013 and 2015, said on "CNN Right Now."

"He let down our veterans, he let down our country. And I think he sent a very wrong message to the world," he added, saying that he's disappointed Trump didn't make the trip considering the magnitude of the role the war played in the world's history. 

Trump has faced widespread criticism over his decision not to attend the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial over the weekend as world leaders commemorated the day that marked 100 years since the end of the First World War. 

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The White House said in a statement that the visit was canceled due to "scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather."

But many domestic and international officials have criticized Trump for skipping the event, which was attended by multiple other world leaders.

"They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen," Nicholas Soames, a British politician and grandson of Winston Churchill, tweeted.

"President @realDonaldTrump a no-show because of raindrops? Those veterans the president didn’t bother to honor fought in the rain, in the mud, in the snow - & many died in trenches for the cause of freedom," former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryDem Sen. Markey faces potential primary challenge in Massachusetts Judd Gregg: The dangers of the Bolton Doctrine Rubio asks Barr to investigate Kerry over Iran meetings MORE tweeted.

Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran, has repeatedly knocked Trump throughout his presidency. In January, he called the president an "embarrassment" after reports surfaced that he referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as "shithole countries."