Why Didn't Donald Trump Visit Military Cemetery in France? White House Blames Motorcade

President Donald Trump didn't visit a United States military cemetery in France recently because he didn't want to disrupt roadways with his motorcade, the Associated Press reported.

Initially, the White House blamed bad weather for Trump's absence at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in northern France, about 60 miles from Paris, on Saturday. Following a wave of criticism, the White House altered its reasoning on Monday and said the only way Trump could have made it to the cemetery was by car, which would have interfered with the roads. Trump's helicopter was grounded due to the weather.

"The President and First Lady's trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial has been canceled due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather," the White House said in a statement on Saturday.

The president was expected to observe a moment of silence at the cemetery in addition to laying a wreath in honor of veterans killed in World War I. More than 2,200 soldiers were laid to rest at the cemetery during the war, several of whom were U.S. military members, while the names of 1,060 American soldiers' names are engraved on a wall at the graveyard.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine General, attended the event on Trump's behalf along with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Marine General Joe Dunford and other White House officials.

Trump visited a different cemetery near Paris on Sunday, during which the president raved about the "bloodiest conflicts in human history" while recognizing several World War I vets who were in attendance. Making light of his previous absence, Trump joked about the weather during his speech.

"You look so comfortable up there, under shelter," he said.

"We are getting drenched, you're very smart people," he continued, later complimenting the veterans. "You look like you're in really good shape all of you. I hope I look like that someday. You look great."

Trump returned to the U.S. on Sunday.

Beautiful ceremony today in Paris commemorating the end of World War One. Many World leaders in attendance. Thank you to @EmmanuelMacron, President of France! Now off to Suresnes American Cemetery to make speech in honor of our great heroes! Then back to the U.S.A.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2018