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Trump regrets not visiting Arlington cemetery on Veterans Day, explains reasoning

President Donald Trump talks with Marines while visiting Marine Barracks on November 15, 2018 in Washington, D.C. President Trump and the First Lady are meeting with Marines who responded to a building fire at the Arthur Capper Public Housing complex on September 9, 2018. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/ Getty Images)

President Donald Trump admitted that he should have taken the time to visit the Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day in an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News that will air Sunday.

Traditionally, presidents will visit the cemetery on Veterans Day for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This year, the ceremony took place Sunday, when Trump was still in Paris. Still, the president said he should have visited Monday, when the holiday was observed.

What did he say?

Here is the exchange between Trump and Wallace on the subject, according to Mediaite:

“I should have done that,” Trump said. “I was extremely busy on calls for the country, we did a lot of calling as you know.”

“But this is Veterans Day,” Wallace pushed back.

“I could have done that,” Trump replied. “As you know I just left the day before the American Cemetery and I probably think — and that was one where it was raining as hard as you can imagine and I made a speech at the American Cemetery the day before. And 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 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.”

Why is this an issue?

Trump's decision to not go to Arlington on Veterans Day spurred media criticism, including takes such as "imagine if Obama had skipped Arlington" articles and "Trump stays home and tweets on Veterans Day."

The president spent Veterans Day Sunday in Paris for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, and gave a speech at a U.S. cemetery.

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