Trump defends skipping cemetery visit in France: Secret Service said I couldn’t drive there

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE on Tuesday defended his decision to cancel his trip to a cemetery in France last weekend due to bad weather, tweeting that he was urged to back out of the visit by Secret Service.

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The president said he suggested driving to make the visit in bad weather, but the "Secret Service said NO."

“By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. 

“Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown,” he continued. “Speech next day at American Cemetary [sic] in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!”

The tweet was later reposted with the spelling error corrected.

 

Trump drew widespread criticism over the weekend after he backed out of a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau, France, on Saturday morning due to the weather.

Ben Rhodes, a political adviser and top speechwriter in the Obama administration, also slammed the White House for not having a contingency plan in the event of bad weather, saying on Twitter: “I helped plan all of President Obama’s trips for 8 years. There is always a rain option. Always.” 

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden hit Trump for canceling the visit, tweeting, "I AM a grandfather, older than the President, and was with my wife at an American cemetery in rainy France yesterday." 

Trump had visited France for the weekend to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I, in which more than 115,000 Americans died.

He later visited a separate cemetery closer to Paris, where he was staying over the weekend, on Sunday to honor American soldiers who died.