It’s no secret that there’s no love lost between New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and President Donald Trump. The senator’s dislike of the president was reflected in a Saturday tweet in which he teased him about his decision not to visit the graves of Americans killed in World War I.
“What @realDonaldTrump’s afraid of:
The President cancelled his visit to an American cemetery in France to mark 100 years since WWI. Even if the helicopters couldn’t fly, he could’ve driven. He must just be afraid of a little rain.”
Trump was scheduled to lay a wreath at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial that’s located about 60 miles northeast of Paris, France. The cemetery is near Belleau Wood, the location of a significant World War I battle that’s considered a pivotal event in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps.
ABC News reports that the president said he could not attend because rain had grounded the helicopters that were to be his transportation to the cemetery. He was the target of many on Saturday who criticized him and pointed out that he could have traveled to the cemetery by car or found some means to get to the event that was attended by other world leaders despite the rainy conditions. White House Chief of Staff and retired Marine General John Kelly, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman and Marine General Joe Dunford, and several members of the White House staff did attend the ceremony.
Senator Schumer has been a vocal critic of another decision made by President Trump this week. CNBC reported that he sent a letter to Trump on Friday in which he questioned the constitutionality of his appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General. Jeff Sessions submitted a letter to the president this week in which he stated that he was resigning at his request. Protocol indicates that, in this situation, the Deputy Attorney General should be promoted to the vacancy. Trump instead, however, appointed Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker to the position. In his letter to the president, Schumer explained his objections to the move.
“Mr. Whitaker is a political appointee who is not serving in a Senate confirmed position in the Justice Department. I am not aware of any precedent for appointment of an official who has not been confirmed by the Senate to serve as Acting Attorney General.”
He also stated that he believes the appointment may violate a clause in the Constitution which says that the president can appoint individuals to certain positions only “with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.”