Leaders arrive at a World War I commemoration with Trump inset

Trump is in Paris to commemorate the World War I armistice

November 11, 2018 02:01 PM

After President Donald Trump ruffled feathers on his trip to Paris by opting out of a visit to a military cemetery because of rainfall, he again raised eyebrows by arriving separately from other leaders at an event honoring the anniversary of the World War I armistice.

On Sunday, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others gathered at the Élysée Palace, drove to the Arc de Triomphe and walked the rest of the way alongside one another, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, Trump came in a different car “due to security protocols,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, whose relationship with Trump has been the subject of intense scrutiny, gave Trump a thumbs-up sign. He too arrived separately, CNN reported.

Donald Trump speaks on Sunday at a cemetery
Vladimir Putin gives a thumbs-up sign

On Saturday, Trump drew ire for skipping a stop at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, according to the Associated Press. The White House said that the rain scuttled plans for Trump to fly there via helicopter.

Among the people criticizing Trump’s decision to opt out were Nicholas Soames, Winston Churchill‘s grandson and a member of Parliament.

“They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen,” Soames tweeted, adding, “#hesnotfittorepresenthisgreatcountry.”

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In its own condemnation of Trump’s absence, the progressive veterans’ group VoteVets referred to Trump’s quip in October that he was having a “bad hair day” after addressing reporters on a rainy day about the shooting that killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Donald Trump complained about having to stand in the rain, to speak about the massacre in Pittsburgh, because it messed his hair up (more),” the group tweeted. “Today, he will skip honoring fallen American heroes of WWI, and stay in his hotel room, because of some rain.”

People on social media were quick to find examples of other politicians braving bad weather. Former White House photographer Pete Souza posted an Instagram gallery of times former President Barack Obama appeared in the rain.

In one picture shared by historian Michael Beschloss, former President John F. Kennedy stood in the rain in 1961 to pay his respects to fallen soldiers in Paris.

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Twitter users also resurfaced Trudeau’s 2017 speech at the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, when Trudeau stood in the pouring rain and decided to put down his umbrella.

“As we sit here in the rain, thinking how uncomfortable we must be in these minutes as our suits get wet and our hair gets wet and our shoes get wet, I think it’s all the more fitting that we remember on that day in Dieppe, the rain wasn’t rain,” he said. “It was bullets.”

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