President and Melania Trump are skipping a World War I ceremony in France Saturday, and critics pounced. "It's incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary—and then remain in his hotel room watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to the Americans who gave their lives in France for the victory gained 100 years ago tomorrow," tweeted David Frum, a former George W Bush speechwriter, per the Washington Post. Trump cited bad weather for not attending a remembrance of the Battle of Belleau Wood at a cemetery 50 miles outside the city. Two US divisions fought in the 1918 battle alongside the French and British, marking a key moment in US Marine Corps lore.
"There is always a rain option. Always," tweeted Ben Rhodes, a former Obama advisor, while former government official Kelly Magsamen dubbed Trump "real low energy." Fox News notes that Nicholas Soames, UK Parliament member Winston Churchill grandson, joined the fray by calling Trump "pathetic [and] inadequate." John Kelly and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. will attend the ceremony in the Trumps' absence. The Post notes that Trump "appeared subdued, almost sullen" in meeting French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday—a far cry from their handsy summit in April. Trump kicked things off Friday on a harsh note, tweeting that Macron's plan for a European army was "very insulting ... perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!" (Six were arrested in an apparent plot to assassinate Macron.)