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French Army trolls Trump on Twitter over rain controversy

French Republican Guard during the Military parade for Bastille Day, 2016. (Ibex73/Wikimedia Commons)
November 13, 2018

The official Twitter account of the French army is the latest to issue a jab at President Donald Trump for missing a war dead ceremony due to rain over the weekend in France.

A translation of the Monday morning tweet said, “There is #MondayMotivation rain, but it’s okay to 😅 stay motivated 👊”

Some 12 hours later, the account tweeted again, saying, “Thanks to the fans of our account for sharing this ‘raining Monday motivation.’ Sorry for those who thought to interpret it, but no hint was to be seen behind this usual activity of the military of the @armeedeterre who, this morning, took place in the rain!”

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The tweet seems to indicate that the French army did not intend to take a jab at Trump, but that wasn’t how it was perceived by others.

Trump tweeted Tuesday morning to clarify the rain controversy, saying, “By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetery in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!”

On Saturday, the President was supposed to hold a moment of silence at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial approximately 60 miles northeast of Paris and place a wreath to commemorate the lost U.S. personnel. It commemorated those lost during the Battle of Belleau Wood, which is considered a notable conflict in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps.

However, his appearance was canceled, a decision the White House attributed to bad weather, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

President Trump reportedly had no say in the decision, as the Marine Corps and White House Military Office made the determination collaboratively with the Secret Service that Paris’ overcast and rainy conditions posed too much risk for Marine One to fly to Aisne-Marne.

The cancellation caused backlash, with many saying President Trump should’ve attended through other means of travel. But it would have reportedly caused an unexpected disruption to the city if Trump had taken a car, and it also would have taken some four hours round-trip.

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The White House said Trump would’ve traveled by car to Aisne-Marne, but decided against posing a disruption to roadways as a result of the sudden travel plans, Fox News had reported.

The following day, President Trump attended a rainy observation event at the Suresnes American Cemetery just outside Paris to honor Americans killed in World War I. Suresnes, however, is located within the Paris metro area – just six miles from the U.S. Embassy – and did not require the use of Marine One or significant resources to make the trip.