In Trump’s place, the White House sent Gen. John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, and Gen. Joe Dunfort, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They visited the Aisne-Marne memorial and cemetery about 60 miles outside of Paris, where 2,289 veterans are buried. A monument at the adjacent site, Belleau Woods, celebrates U.S. Marines who fought there in a pivotal battle in 1918.
Republican operatives recognized the potential political implications of the president’s move — especially since Trump has tried to cast himself as a strong supporter to military and law enforcement personnel.
“If Dems can’t figure out how to make hay for days out of Trump not visiting military cemetery on anniversary of conclusion of WWI because of a little rain … while other leaders attend … they really don’t deserve to win in 2020,” said Tucker Martin, a former adviser to the Republican Governors Association who also ran communications for Gov. Chris Christie’s Super PAC in 2016.
“Dem POTUS did this? Would be relentless.”