Trump Blames Secret Service for Canceled Trip to French Cemetery

(Bloomberg) -- 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,” Trump said Tuesday on Twitter. “Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown.”

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.

The 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 did not immediately respond to a phone call and email requesting comment on Trump’s new tweet on the incident Tuesday.

While Trump returned to the U.S., he is still writing about his time in France on his Twitter feed. In a series of postings Tuesday he took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron, mocked the country for previous war losses and repeated his assertion that the country should pay more for joint defenses. “They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!” he write.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.