On this staid occasion, Trump also bashed two of his fellow Americans – the military veteran Robert Mueller, who oversaw the investigation into the Trump campaign’s interference in the 2016 election, and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
In an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham, taped near the Normandy American cemetery where 9,000 American veterans are buried, Trump said Mueller had “made a fool out of himself” last time he testified before Congress.
Mueller was deployed to Vietnam with the US Marines in 1968 and suffered a gunshot wound there. Trump received a deferment from Vietnam for bone spurs.
The president also criticized Pelosi, who was in Normandy with a congressional delegation commemorating the D-day anniversary.
“Nancy Pelosi – I call her ‘Nervous Nancy’ – Nancy Pelosi doesn’t talk about it,” Trump said. “She’s a disaster. She’s a disaster. Let her do what she wants, you know what? I think they’re in big trouble.”
When asked about the president’s comments, Pelosi upheld an unwritten rule about not smearing political opponents in public while abroad.
“I don’t talk about the president while I’m out of the country,” Pelosi said. “That’s my principle.”
She added she hoped the president would “convey a renewed spirit of collaboration” with allies.
In Thursday’s ceremony at Normandy American cemetery, many national leaders stressed the alliances that led to D-day. Trump focused on the valor of the men who stormed the beaches, and also sought to reassure allies who have been rattled by his “America first” mindset.
“Those who fought here won a future for our nation. They won the survival of our civilization, and they showed us the way to love, cherish and defend our way of life for many centuries to come,” Trump said.
“To all of our friends and partners our cherished alliance was forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war and proven in the blessings of peace. Our bond is unbreakable,” he added.