With marble crosses and Stars of David marking the graves of those who died fighting the Nazis on D-Day visible in the background, President Trump used the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy to bash special council Robert Mueller.
“He made such a fool out of himself,” Trump told conservative pundit Laura Ingraham on Fox News, in a discussion taped minutes before the president stepped onto the dais with a few dozen surviving D-Day veterans.
His remarks about Mueller, a decorated military veteran who served in Vietnam, were not particularly surprising on their own — Trump has been criticizing him for months.
But Trump chose to renew his attack on the man who oversaw the investigation into Russian election interference in an interview carved out shortly before a solemn occasion: the commemoration of one of the most consequential military victories in American history.
It was reminiscent of a television interview he gave earlier in the week, when he struck a dismissive tone about the Vietnam War.
Trump, who avoided serving in that war, said he was “never a fan” of it.
Though he had made such remarks before, the timing — as leaders of allied nations gathered to commemorate D-Day — was notable.
Mueller was not the only adversary to fall into Trump’s cross hairs as he carried politics with him beyond the water’s edge.
He also used the Fox interview to criticize the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who also attended the D-Day commemoration.
A day earlier, Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues who want to see Trump face impeachment proceedings that she would rather see him lose — and then be indicted and put “in prison.”
“Nancy Pelosi is a disaster,” Trump said, dismissing her as “Nervous Nancy” and declaring, “Let her do what she wants.”
Of the Democrats, Trump said: “You know what? I think they’re in big trouble.”
Earlier in the week, entertainer Bette Midler tweeted a fake quote about Trump, which resulted in a response last night on Twitter calling her a “washed up psycho.”
Washed up psycho @BetteMidler was forced to apologize for a statement she attributed to me that turned out to be totally fabricated by her in order to make “your great president” look really bad. She got caught, just like the Fake News Media gets caught. A sick scammer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2019
Trump’s response was hardly surprising, but the fact he felt the need to do it just moments after visiting the Queen of England and D-Day ceremonies raised new questions about his mental focus.
Trump, who has called into question America’s allies around the world — including those whom Americans fought alongside in Normandy — pledged fidelity today in a speech at Normandy to friendships “forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war, and proven in the blessings of peace.”
It was Trump’s only reference to the importance of the Atlantic alliance, in a speech that dwelled on the service of D-Day’s American veterans.
There was a lingering incongruity to Trump’s words: a president who has denigrated the European Union and accused NATO of exploiting American taxpayers was extolling an allied military campaign that was perhaps the greatest demonstration of America’s commitment to a free and peaceful Europe.
It fell to President Emmanuel Macron of France to defend the postwar international order.
Speaking before Trump, he offered thanks to the United States for its wartime sacrifice and conferred the French Legion of Honor on several veterans. Then he paid tribute to the institutions the United States helped create.
“We must show ourselves worthy of the heritage of peace you left us,” Macron said, pointing to the treaty that created NATO. “That is what the leaders of Europe did in creating the European Union.”
Attribution:The New York Times