President Donald Trump said he suggested driving to a French cemetery for a World War I commemoration that he skipped over the weekend but he blamed the Secret Service for blocking that idea after his helicopter was unable to fly due to weather conditions.
By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetery in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
Trump drew sharp criticism for canceling the trip on Saturday to a cemetery and battlefield near Belleau Wood, as rainy weather across France prevented the planned helicopter trip to mark one of the deadliest battle sites of the war. He spoke at a separate ceremony near Paris the following day.
U.S. Secret Service typically requires a good level of visibility to transport the president by helicopter, yet the president’s detractors and some in his own party seized on the cancellation to accuse Trump of lacking respect for fallen soldiers and the military.
The Secret Service could not immediately be reached for comment.