Trump lashes out after Paris: Secret Service kept me from cemetery

"MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN," tweeted the U.S. president, riffing on his own campaign slogan.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Nov. 11, 2018.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Nov. 11, 2018.Ian Lagsdon / EPA

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By Jane C. Timm

President Donald Trump lashed out over his recent trip to Paris in a series of tweets Tuesday, blaming the Secret Service for his cancelled visit to a cemetery for fallen U.S. soldiers in France on Saturday.

"By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown," the president said on Twitter, while also complaining people didn't report on his Sunday speech during the rain.

Trump's rainy Sunday speech was widely reported, but his attacks on France — including a tweet that proposed modifying wine tariffs — come after the president faced international criticism for both his self-declared nationalism and Saturday's cancelled cemetery visit. Tuesday also marks the anniversary of the devastating terror attacks across Paris three years ago.

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French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel traveled a similar distance by car to another commemorative event, and White House chief of staff John Kelly and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did make the roughly 50-mile long drive that Trump now says the Secret Service barred him from joining.

In his tweets, the president continued to upbraid Macron for calling for a "true European army" in a radio interview prior to Trump's arrival in Paris Friday, and pushed back on Macron's declaration that "nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism."He alsosuggested Macron's remarks were an attempt to distract from his low approval ratings in the country.

Speaking steps from Trump and 80 other world leaders on Sunday, Macron said: “By saying, ‘Our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace and what is essential: its moral values."

His speech was interpreted by many as a rebuke to Trump, who proudly declared himself a "nationalist" on the campaign trail in October.

According to Reuters, the French president's office said it refuses to comment on Trump's tweets criticizing France and Macron.