President Donald Trump said that he plans to visit US troops in war zones, a remark that comes after he received widespread criticism for not visiting an American burial ground outside Paris, France, earlier this month and Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day.
“Well, I think you will see that happen. There are things that are being planned,” Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace when asked in an interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday” why he has not gone to war zones to see US troops and missed the cemetery visits. “We don’t want to talk about it because of – obviously because of security reasons and everything else.”
“I’ve had an unbelievable busy schedule and I will be doing it,” Trump said, adding that he doesn’t think “anybody’s been more with the military than I have, as a president.”
Past presidents have visited troops in war zones at various points during their presidencies. Former President Barack Obama visited troops in Iraq a little over two months into his administration, and Afghanistan after being in office for just over a year. Former President George W. Bush visited Iraq about eight months after the start of the war there.
Trump also acknowledged in the interview that he should have gone to Arlington National Cemetery to mark Veterans Day on Monday.
“I should have done that. I was extremely busy on calls for the country. We did a lot of calling as you know,” he told Wallace.
“I probably, you know, in retrospect, I should have, and I did last year, and I will virtually every year,” Trump said. “But we had come in very later at night 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.”
The President was referring to the trip he took last week to an American cemetery in Paris to commemorate the centennial of the end of World War I. A day before the trip, he was criticized for not attending a memorial with world leaders at another cemetery, the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in in Belleau, France, because of weather-related issues.
In his interview with Wallace, he defended that decision, which he says was actually made by the Secret Service.
“They said, ‘Sir,’ Secret Service said, ‘Sir, you cannot go. We are not prepared. You cannot go.’ Because it was supposed to be helicopter, but the helicopter couldn’t fly because of zero visibility,” Trump said.
CNN’s Kevin Bohn and Victor Blackwell contributed reporting.