The White House has defended US President Donald Trump’s decision to miss a memorial event on Saturday after he faced a backlash.
Mr Trump, who was in France to mark the centenary of World War One’s end, cancelled a visit to a US military cemetery because it was raining.
Bad weather and “near-zero visibility” grounded the presidential helicopter, White House officials said.
French, German and Canadian leaders attended memorial events on Saturday.
However, Mr Trump was reluctant to bring extra disruption to Paris traffic for a last-minute motorcade, his officials said.
So it was a security issue then and not, as many pretended, that Trump simply couldn’t be bothered because it was raining.
“President Trump did not want to cause that kind of unexpected disruption to the city and its people,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said, noting the trip was 60 miles (96km) north-east of Paris
Compiègne, the location of the ceremony in question, is situated a little further east of Charles de Gaulle airport and if he were to get there from Paris via motorcade they’d probably have closed the A1. This not only would have caused havoc on the périphérique but might have caused people to miss their flights, so I expect the good citizens of Paris are rather glad Trump decided not to go. Also, there is no acknowledgement that this particular ceremony was a sideshow: the main one took place on 11th November on the Champs-Élysées as normal, and Trump was in full attendance.
From here, it just gets pathetic:
Critics observed how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had travelled 118 miles outside Paris to attend a ceremony – in the rain – at a cemetery in Vimy.
And what is the security operation surrounding the Canadian PM versus that of the US president?
Notable criticism came from British Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood, who took an apparent swipe at the president on Twitter, saying “rain did not prevent our brave heroes from doing their job”.
I’ve praised the bravery of Tobias Ellwood on this blog before, but he’s acting like a child here. So is this man:
His comments followed a scathing rebuke from Sir Nicholas Soames, a grandson of the wartime British leader Sir Winston Churchill.
The MP tweeted that Mr Trump was not fit to represent the US and said that he was a “pathetic inadequate” for not defying the weather “to pay his respects to the fallen”.
Here’s what I don’t get about the British ruling classes. Half of them want to suck up to European technocrats which explains their anti-Americanism, but even those that want out of Europe seem to make extra effort to antagonise their most important ally. It’s fine that Britain wants to get out of Europe, but where’s the value in MPs taking swipes at Trump on Twitter over trivial, wrongheaded stuff like this? America has lots of allies and special interests, and Britain needs American support more than America needs Britain. The ruling classes fell over themselves to brown-nose Obama who hated Britain, but even though Trump has repeatedly shown he’s open to warm relations with Britain, the ruling classes prefer to engage in petty sniping.
I expect the answer lies in snobbery. Even the supposedly better Tories prefer to burnish their credentials with other members of the ruling classes by virtue-signaling against Trump’s supposed rudeness and inadequacy than building workable relations with the one country whose help we need once we stumble out of the EU in March next year. Once again, our ruling classes have shown they are utterly incapable of doing the one thing they exist to do: govern. If Britain wants to avoid disappearing into irrelevance, it needs a wholesale replacement of those in charge. The only upside I can see is that I doubt Trump paid any attention to these cretins.