NEWS
10/11/2018 15:47 GMT | Updated 10/11/2018 20:23 GMT

Donald Trump Cancels US War Cemetery Visit In France Because It's Raining

Conditions are perfectly normal for this time of year.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The US flag flutters at half mast prior to a ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery and memorial in Belleau, eastern France.

Donald Trump has cancelled a trip to honour US soldiers killed in World War One because it is raining.

The President and First Lady were due to fly by helicopter to visit to the Ainse-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in France on Saturday as part of events marking 100 years since Armistice Day.

Also known as the Belleau Wood cemetery, the site is home to the graves of 2,289 American war dead and 1,060 names of the missing.

Most died in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918. It was the largest US military offensive in history involving 1.2 million men. Over 26,000 were killed.

PhotoQuest via Getty Images
Close-up of American soldiers of the 18th Infantry, 1st Division holed up on the side of Hill 240 in the Ardennes, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, France, October 11, 1918. 

In a statement, the White House said: “The President and First Lady’s trip to Ainse-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial has been canceled due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather.

“An American delegation led by Chief of Staff General John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford will attend on their behalf.”

Sky News’ Mark Stone called the decision “odd” as the weather appeared to be clearing up in Paris where Trump is currently staying.

Conditions are perfectly normal for this time of year.

Ben Rhodes, who served as deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration, said the White House should have had a fallback plan for the President.

David Frum, once a speechwriter for President George W Bush, tweeted that he thought it was “incredible” that a President would not pay respects to the US servicemen who died in France during the First World War.

And Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill, called Trump “pathetic” and “inadequate”.

Despite portraying himself as a solid supporter of US troops, Trump has yet to visit any serving on the frontline in stark contrast to his predecessors.

Presidents Obama and Bush both made trips to combat zones swiftly within their first terms but Trump has yet to do so despite being in office for nearly two years.

On Sunday, after a solemn commemoration at the Arc de Triomphe to honour the armistice centenary, Trump is scheduled to visit an American cemetery at Suresnes, on the western outskirts of the capital, where he will make formal remarks, Reuters reports.

His trip comes just days after congressional elections delivered results that will complicate his next two years.

While Republicans slightly expanded their majority in the US Senate, they lost control of the US House of Representatives to Democrats who may use their newfound power to launch investigations into Trump and stymie his agenda.