Trump: 'In Retrospect, I Should Have' Gone to Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day

Susan Jones | November 19, 2018 | 7:51am EST
Font Size
President Trump attends a ceremony at the Suresnes American Cemetery in Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and the end of World War I.

( - President Donald Trump now says he probably should have gone to Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day.

In an interview that aired on Sunday, Chris Wallace, the host of "Fox News Sunday," asked him why he didn't take part in the annual tribute to veterans.

"I should have done that, I was extremely busy on calls for the country. We did a lot of calling, as you know," Trump said. "I probably -- you know, in retrospect, I should have, and I did last year and I will virtually every year.

"But we had come in very late at night (from Europe) and I had just left, literally, the American Cemetery in Paris, and I really probably assumed that was fine, and I was extremely busy because of affairs of state -- doing other things."

Wallace also asked Trump why he hasn't visited U.S. troops serving in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan:

"Well, I think you will see that happen," Trump responded. "There are things that are being planned. We don't want to talk about it because of -- obviously because of security reasons and everything else. But there are things that are planned."

Trump also noted that he was "very much opposed" to the war in Iraq, which he called a "tremendous mistake."

Wallace said a visit from the commander-in-chief would be "for the soldiers" -- not to endorse the war itself.

"You're right," Trump said. "I don't think anybody's been more with the military than I have, as a president. In terms of funding, in terms of all of the things I've been able to get them, including the vets. I don't think anybody's done more than me.

“I've had an unbelievable busy schedule, and I will be doing it. On top of which you have these phony witch hunts. On top of which -- I mean, we've just been very busy. But I will be doing that."

While liberal media pundits dumped on Trump for failing to take part in Veterans Day observances at Arlington, at least one war veteran said he's not offended by President Trump's decision to skip the Arlinton ceremony:

Representative-elect Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), who was recently the butt of a tasteless joke on Saturday Night Live, lost an eye while serving in Afghanistan.

Well, I have been to Arlington multiple times to bury my friends," Crenshaw told CNN's "State of the Union."

I have had at least two funerals there that I have attended and gone back occasionally.

I also know that the president, on a very personal level, has treated those Gold Star families very well, and he has embraced them, and he's been very good to them.

I would have liked to see him at Arlington. But, again, I'm not offended by the fact that he didn't go. I understand that he does have a lot of things to do. I would have liked to see him there.

But, as veterans, I don't think it necessarily affects us that -- where he shows up to in a ceremonial fashion. What affects us is, listen, are you giving us a clear mission? Are you giving us the equipment we need to do it? Are you raising pay for the military?

He's done all of these things. That's what matters to me as a veteran.



mrc merch