It’s extremely unusual to see or hear Donald Trump admit a mistake, which makes it all the more notable that the president conceded he made the wrong choice on Veterans Day.
President Donald Trump says he should have visited Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate Veterans Day – a traditional presidential act.
Trump, who rarely admits a faux pas, told “Fox News Sunday” that “in retrospect, I should have” gone, but he was busy on calls and had just returned from abroad.
The context matters. Last Saturday, Trump was in France for events marking the 100th anniversary of World War I, and he was supposed to visit an American cemetery. It was, to a certain degree, the whole point of the president’s trip. Trump, however, did not attend the event.
Two days later, when many Americans recognized Veterans Day, the Republican could’ve visited Arlington Cemetery – a short drive from the White House – but he didn’t. Trump told Fox News, “I should have done that. I was extremely busy on calls for the country. We did a lot of calling as you know.”
He added, “I probably, you know, in retrospect, I should have and I did last year.”
It’s a welcome change to hear Trump acknowledge a misstep, but even when admitting a mistake, he made a mistake: Trump didn’t go to Arlington Cemetery last year. He was actually in Asia on Veterans Day 2017.
As for the president being “extremely busy” on Veterans Day, his official White House schedule included no events.
Trump also found time last Monday to publish plenty of tweets, including missives demanding Florida officials stop counting lawful ballots and blaming Democrats for recent stock market losses.
I don’t doubt he was at least somewhat busy – the president’s television isn’t going to watch itself – but the idea that Trump couldn’t have taken some time to do what presidents do on Veterans Day is very hard to take seriously.