WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump paid a visit Thursday to the Marine Barracks and met with Marines who responded to a fire at a local public housing complex.
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The president and first lady Melania Trump spent about 40 minutes at the facility, where about 150 Marines had gathered in an event space at tables set with mini pumpkin pies.
The Trumps went around the room, greeting the Marines one by one, and later sat with some at a table.
The visit comes after the president was criticized for canceling a trip to an American cemetery about 60 miles northwest of Paris on Saturday after his helicopter was grounded by bad weather. Trump was in Paris for ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on Sunday and therefore did not attend the annual commemoration for Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery on the same day. He also did not visit Arlington on Monday, the federal legal holiday, after his return from France.
Stephanie Grisham, a spokesperson for the first lady, whose office organized the Marine Barracks visit, said the president planned to join the event “weeks ago.”
The fire that took place in September tore through the Arthur Capper Public Housing complex for seniors. Neighbors, first responders and Marines at the nearby barracks rushed to the scene. More than 150 people were displaced, but no one was killed.