- Inclement weather stopped President Trump’s helicopter getting him to a WWI memorial in Paris on Saturday, the White House said.
- He couldn’t drive there as “he did not want to cause that kind of unexpected disruption to the city and its people,” The White House said on Sunday.
- “A motorcade would have required closures to substantial portions of the Paris roadways,” it said.
- Trump spent that part of Saturday at the US Ambassador’s house, and attended a different military graveyard on Sunday instead.
President Donald Trump couldn’t get to at a memorial service for WWI soldiers on Saturday because he didn’t want to mess-up traffic near Paris, the White House said on Sunday.
Trump was due to attend a remembrance service at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, located about 60 miles northeast of Paris – but he didn’t go due to “logistical difficulties caused by the weather.”
Later, when asked why he didn’t drive instead, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “President Trump did not want to cause that kind of unexpected disruption to the city and its people,” Associated Press (AP) reported.
“A car ride of two-and-a-half hours, each way, would have required closures to substantial portions of the Paris roadways for the President’s motorcade, on short notice,” Sanders said.
Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications under President Barack Obama, said the excuse was implausible.
“I helped plan all of President Obama’s trips for 8 years,” he wrote on Twitter. “There is always a rain option. Always.”
Trump spent the time until his next engagement at the US Ambassador’s house, but CNN reported the White House declined to say “how” he spent the empty hours.
The graveyard and memorial Trump was scheduled to attend contains nearly 2,300 graves for soldiers who fought in the surrounding areas in the summer of 1918.
White House chief of staff John Kelly visited in the President’s place. Kelly requires a smaller security detail and could therefore find alternate means of travel.
Trump went to a different US military cemetery on the outskirts of Paris a day later, Sunday, AP said.
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