Of all the glaring contradictions of Donald Trump‘s presidency, his lack of hands-on enthusiasm when it comes the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces is among the most notable.
In an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News that’s set to air this coming weekend, Trump was asked why he didn’t visit Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day.
“I should have done that,” Trump said according to a transcript on the interview shared by Wapo’s Aaron Blake. “I was extremely busy on calls for the country, we did a lot of calling as you know.”
Trump on going to Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran's Day:
"I should have done that," but says he was busy. pic.twitter.com/or1D88k0r4
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) November 16, 2018
When pressed further on the question, Trump said that he didn’t think his skipping out on the ceremonies would be a big deal, saying that he was busy “with affairs of state” and “doing other things.”
Trump’s absence from Arlington Cemetery came on the heels of another notable no-show of his. In France this Saturday, he made a last-minute cancelation of a scheduled appearance at an event to honor American soldiers who helped end World War I. According to the White House, weather conditions prevented him from traveling to the event by helicopter, but many pointed out how French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an effort to show up and pay their respects despite the weather.
Despite Trump’s rhetoric declaring his love of the U.S. military, he’s done little to show his appreciation for past and current soldiers. He still has not visited U.S. troops in an active war zone, has needlessly stationed thousands of soldiers near the U.S.-Mexico border to confront a caravan of asylum-seekers still months away, and was willing to spend an estimated $92 million in taxpayer money to fund his Big Boy military parade, which was suspended indefinitely when it was projected to go millions of dollars over budget.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore