He didn’t visit last year either but that’s because he was traveling abroad. Pence took his place. Today he’s home but not going, two days after he also skipped a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France due to rain. (John Kelly and Joe Dunford both attended.) And took tons of heat for it, including from some unlikely critics.
The White House noted on Saturday that he was supposed to fly to Aisne-Marnes via helicopter but that the rain would have required a motorcade instead, which would have shut down “substantial portions of the Paris roadways … on short notice.” Either way, you would think he’d want to put in an appearance at Arlington today to compensate, since it’s about 10 minutes from the White House by car. Nope:
Trump won’t be leaving the White House today, per press office. No visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day.
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) November 12, 2018
He’s tweeted eight times since this morning, meanwhile. There has to be a story here. Even if he didn’t want to go, normally he’d put in a brief appearance just to deny his critics the ability to say that he snubbed the fallen. Is he under the weather, maybe, and just doesn’t want to say so lest it affect perceptions of his “strength”? He did make it to the ceremony yesterday (in the rain) at the American cemetery in Suresnes, outside Paris, but spoke for only 10 minutes and seemed “low energy.” He’s also skipping the ASEAN and APEC summits in Asia later this week.
Maybe there’s something pressing the White House is dealing with that we don’t know about yet? I can’t understand today’s absence otherwise. Here he is yesterday speaking in Suresnes.