The French almost certainly trolled President Donald Trump just days after he canceled a planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery to commemorate U.S. soldiers who perished in World War I. Trump’s team claimed that inclement weather scuttled the president’s plans.
“There is rain, but it does not matter,” the French army wrote on Twitter. “We remain motivated.” Accompanying the post: A photo of a rain-soaked recruit crawling through an obstacle course.
— Armée de Terre (@armeedeterre) November 12, 2018
The French army’s slight dig at the U.S. president quickly took social media by storm.
French army making fun of Trump. Making America laughable again. https://t.co/NwRmHd6J5d
— Thomas E. Ricks (@tomricks1) November 12, 2018
The French Army trolls Trump’s aversion to rain… 👇👇👇 https://t.co/v3hOSEDbRt
— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) November 12, 2018
OMG. This is an epic level of trolling from the French Army. My rough (very basic level of French) translation: "There is rain, but no matter. We stay motivated" 👏🏽👏🏽
— Arti for Oak Park (@ajpeddakotla) November 12, 2018
— Catherine Reed (@CaReedArtist) November 12, 2018
— George Shiber (@GeorgeShiber) November 12, 2018
The White House canceled Trump’s visit after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders determined that weather conditions provided “near-zero visibility,” complicating matters for the president, who would have arrived aboard the presidential helicopter Marine One.
“President Trump did not want to cause that kind of unexpected disruption to the city and its people,” Sanders said.
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) November 12, 2018
Trump was further criticized for not joining other world leaders who arrived by car.
Neither a devastating hurricane in Florida nor mass murder in a synagogue in Pittsburgh would cause Trump to cancel his rallies,but he cancelled a trip to the cemetery in Paris,where American veterans are interred, because of a little drizzle.The real world leaders made the trip.
— Nancy Anne Merwin (@nancym284) November 12, 2018
On the Marine Corps’ birthday, Trump chose to cancel a scheduled visit to a US cemetery in France around 100th anniversary of end of World War I to honor the brave & fallen who gave their lives for this country, because it was raining. Trump is not a patriot & dishonors us all. pic.twitter.com/Ho4IljlyL8
— Ron Waxman (@RonWaxman) November 10, 2018
As disgraceful as it was yesterday for Trump to cancel his visit to a cemetery to commemorate the loss of U.S. soldiers in World War I, it's also disgraceful that he's surrounded himself with such piss-poor people that no one had the balls to tell him, "Sir, you must go." #AMJoy
— LaurenBaratzLogsted (@LaurenBaratzL) November 11, 2018
“The cemetery is 50 miles northeast of Paris, and it was not clear why alternative routes — commonly planned for high-profile events — were not used in this case,” The Washington Post‘s Alex Horton noted.
As Ben Rhodes, who served as former President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, observed: “There is always a rain option. Always.”
I helped plan all of President Obama’s trips for 8 years. There is always a rain option. Always. https://t.co/exZNlONQOp
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) November 10, 2018
The president’s visit to France has been no less contentious despite his absence at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery. Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron, in what was seen as a direct rebuke of Trump, denounced nationalism.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values,” Macron said.
Trump referred to himself as a “nationalist” last month during a rally in which he denigrated Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who challenged Republican incumbent Ted Cruz’s Senate seat.
“You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” Trump said. “And I say, ‘Really? We’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist.”
President Trump: "I'm a nationalist." pic.twitter.com/3lxCrtSkrN
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 23, 2018
The term “nationalist” has become associated with the alt-right movement, which predominantly supports the president’s agenda and has regularly challenged for espousing white supremacist ideology.
Trump has defended those comments, saying it was meant as a contrast to “globalists” who place international interests before those of the United States.
The president further came under fire after sharing a rather warm greeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The two men, whom U.S. intelligence agencies believe together conspired to subvert the 2016 presidential election, arrived separately from the other heads of state who took part in the commemorations, although Trump was already in attendance when Putin arrived and was caught beaming at the sight of the Russian president.
Putin murders journalists & opponents, recently used a nerve agent to assassinate a dissident on British soil, annexed Crimea, facilitates war crimes, and attacked American democracy. This is how Trump reacted when he saw him (notice the difference with Macron/Merkel) pic.twitter.com/VzCSGcuWVR
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) November 11, 2018
Trump and Putin were going to have a one-on-one meeting in Paris, but those plans were scuttled amid Macron’s concerns that the meeting would overshadow the Armistice Day commemorations. Putin later told Russian state media that he did find time to talk to Trump in Paris.