The president still plans to attend the featured ceremony under the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday with more than 100 world leaders.
PARIS — President Trump flew 3,800 miles to this French capital city for ceremonies to honor the military sacrifice in World War I, hoping to take part in the kind of powerful ode to the bravery of the armed forces that he was unable to hold in Washington.
But on his first full day here, it rained on his substitute parade weekend.
Early Saturday, the White House announced Trump and the first lady had scuttled plans, due to bad weather, for their first stop in a series of weekend remembrance activities: a visit to the solemn Aisne Marne American Cemetery, marking the ferocious Battle of Belleau Wood.
It was not completely clear why the Trumps were unable to attend. The cemetery is 50 miles from Paris. So perhaps the president was planning to travel on Marine One, which is occasionally grounded by the Secret Service.
But the sight of dignitaries arriving at other sites outside Paris, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, led some foreign policy analysts to speculate that the U.S. commander in chief just wasn’t up for it.
“It’s incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary – and then remain in his hotel room watching TV …” David Frum, who served as a speechwriter to former President George W. Bush, wrote in a series of tweets. Trump is actually staying at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris.
Trump is still planning to attend the featured ceremony under the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday where more than 100 world leaders will pay homage to the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the Great War.
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser under Obama, noted he helped plan Obama’s foreign travel and said it was common to have a backup plan to deal with inclement weather. “There is always a rain option. Always,” he tweeted.