What different outlets are saying about Trump’s Veteran’s Day cancellationPosted by Josh Taylor / November 11, 2018
This Veteran’s Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. As is tradition, President Trump flew to Paris to commemorate the event. In years past, presidents have visited the U.S. Cemetery to pay their respects to the fallen soldiers. President Trump canceled his visit to the cemetery due to rain: “Mr Trump was supposed to participate in a wreath-laying and a moment of silence at the site, but heavy rain prevented him from arriving via helicopter to the site, which is more than 50 miles east of the French capital.”
The cancellation drew widespread criticism, both at home and abroad. French President Macron made a thinly-veiled criticism of Trump: “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great, and what makes it essential: its moral values.”Conservative MP and grandson of Winston Churchill, Nicholas Soames, tweeted the following:
— Nicholas Soames (@NSoames) November 10, 2018
Members of previous administrations, such as Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser and David Frum, President George W. Bush’s former speechwriter, both criticized Trump. Rhodes particularly challenged Trump’s citation of “logistical difficulties.” Rhodes said that he planned Obama’s trips to the cemetery every year, and every year he had a contingency plan for rain.
Unsurprisingly, Trump’s critics have had a field day. Pictures of Obama speaking in the rain are circulating around social media platforms, with commentators noting that Obama wasn’t afraid of speaking in the rain and implying that the real reason that Trump canceled the cemetery speech was because he was afraid of the rain. Critics have also pointed out that the cemetery was only an hour drive away from Paris, and Trump could have easily ordered a motorcade.
Interestingly, his supporters have not done much to defend Trump’s decision. Fox News has taken an interesting tactic. Note the lede of this article:
At a rain-soaked and chilly observance of Armistice Day at the Suresnes American Cemetery outside Paris on Sunday, President Trump praised the “American and French patriots” of World War I, in a speech that sharply contrasted with the political tone of an earlier address by French President Emmanuel Macron.
This article is about Trump speaking at a cemetery much closer to Paris. It goes on to note the various criticisms of Trump lodged by several world leaders––especially his nationalistic tendencies and America-first policies. But what’s most interesting is the first few words: “rain-soaked.” The article points out that Trump was not, in fact, afraid of speaking in the rain.