Donald Trump has defended missing memorial ceremony because of the rain

The US flag flutters at half mast prior to a ceremony at the Aisne Marne American cemetery and memorial in Belleau

On Sunday, he attended a scheduled event at a U.S. cemetery on the outskirts of Paris.

He really doesn't like rain - so much so that even after berating kneeling National Football League players for supposedly disrespecting war veterans, he decided not to visit the American war cemetery at Belleau in France - a necessary visit, considering he was in France to commemorate those who died in World War I.

"They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn't even defy the weather to pay his respects to the Fallen", Mr Soames wrote on Twitter.

The White House claimed Trump canceled the visit because the Marine One helicopter can not fly in rain, but at another ceremony on Sunday, the president made a comment about how a World War II veteran was being kept dry under shelter as he stood in the rain giving a speech.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine General, attended the event on Trump's behalf along with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Marine General Joe Dunford and other White House officials. The plan was to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of a the battle of Belleau Wood, where American, French and British troops joined forces against Germany in 1918.

The motorcade briefly paused due to the breach of security before continuing towards the Arc de Triomphe where commemorations for the Armistice are being held with around 70 world leaders.

The jibe from the French military came after social media users picked up Justin Trudeau's rain-soaked appearance at the weekend, seized on by many as a rebuke to Trump's non-attendance.

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The cancellation of Saturday's visit drew criticism from those who say the president should have found a way to travel to Aisne-Marne regardless of the weather. He said it was "never easy bringing up" the issues of military spending and trade imbalances.

"Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism, nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism", Macron said.

Mr Trump's tweet was especially wounding to Mr Macron.

He wrote: "Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the US, China and Russian Federation".

The two men struck a more friendly tone as they opened their meeting at the grand presidential residence.

On Sunday morning a topless feminist activist from the group Femen made it close to Trump's motorcade on the Champs-Élysées.

Mr Trump said Mr Macron "understands that and he understands the United States can only do so much".

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