On Friday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former White House official David Gergen — who has advised multiple presidents, including three Republicans — expressed his disappointment at the fact that President Donald Trump chose to use a D-Day ceremony to attack House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
"I had the privilege of going to Normandy on the 50th anniversary with President Clinton, and it is hallowed ground," Gergen told host John Berman, who was filling in for Cooper. "One has a sense that as you walk in, especially — because there are so many gravestones there, it's extraordinarily moving when you're there, and you do have a sense, there's something sacred about this place and that where we honor those who fell."
"And so, to have the president go there and then this controversy with Nancy Pelosi — I understand why he was ticked off with her, but nonetheless, especially to sit at that space just before the commemoration with those graves behind you, you know, it's just — I just can't — I can't believe — who planned that? Who was on his advance team or why did he allow that to happen? Who can explain it?"
"One possibility is he doesn't care," said Berman.
"Certainly," said Gergen. "But, you know, in some ways, if you're on his team, you're trying to make the speech the centerpiece of the day, and he stepped on his own story, you know. And continually did that throughout this trip. This trip overall, because of the ceremonial aspects and the warmth with which he was received by the Royals in Britain, along with D-Day, you know, had something very positive for him. He was more presidential than most of the things he does."
"So to step on it was sort of dumb, frankly, but more importantly, I think is what it says about not respecting a place as hallowed as that for Americans," Gergen said.