PARIS – President Donald Trump has canceled a planned visit Saturday in a cemetery for Americans killed in World War I, the White House citing the bad weather that caused his helicopter.
Trump had been programmed to lay down a wreath and watch a moment of silence at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, located adjacent 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 residence of the US ambassador, where he was at events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Attending Trump was the White House Chief of Staff, retired genius John Kelly; the president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford; and several 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 marines.
The secret service determines when it is safe to fly Marine One, the president's helicopter. Paris was covered with clouds with torrential rain for most of the Saturday.
Trump was to join dozens of world leaders on Sunday in a shadowy ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe that marks the Armistice. He was to deliver observations to the American cemetery and memorial in Suresnes, located five miles west of Paris, before returning to Washington.
The cancellation of the Saturday visit has attracted the criticism of those who say that the president should have found a way to go to Aisne-Marne regardless of the weather.
Ben Rhodes, who was vice president of national security for President Barack Obama, accused Trump of "jumping away honoring the American military who died for us" and said the White House should have an option to fallback.
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