Trump offers to help Rolling Thunder with DC motorcycle ride

Trump offers to help Rolling Thunder with DC motorcycle ride
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE on Saturday voiced his support for the annual Rolling Thunder biker parade in Washington, D.C., following news that the group had encountered trouble obtaining permits for the event.

Trump tweeted that he would be happy to help the group obtain the permits if needed while praising the bikers for their patriotism.

"Can’t believe that Rolling Thunder would be given a hard time with permits in Washington, D.C. They are great Patriots who I have gotten to know and see in action. They love our Country and love our Flag. If I can help, I will!" he wrote.

Trump's tweet followed a report from ABC News in which one of the annual ride's founders, 73-year-old former Army Sgt. Artie Muller, revealed that 2019's Rolling Thunder parade would likely be the last because of increasing costs surrounding the trip and frequent alleged harassment from law enforcement.

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The 2019 ride will be the 31st in the group's history, with the first event being held in 1988.

"It's just a lot of money," Muller told ABC News.

A spokeswoman for the Pentagon pushed back on assertions that the agency had been involved in the group's supposed conflicts with law enforcement, stating that the agency was supportive of groups exercising their First Amendment rights.

"The department supports the peaceful, lawful exercise of American citizens' First Amendment rights, and remains focused on ensuring the safety and security of the demonstrators and the Pentagon Reservation," the spokeswoman, Sue Gough, told the outlet. "The department is prepared to support the 2019 Rolling Thunder ride, as we have for the last 31 years."

The annual ride started Friday evening with a "Blessing of the Bikes" in Northwest D.C. and a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Wall. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert WilkieRobert Leon WilkieLawmakers demand VA fix emergency claims after report shows vets wrongly paid million VA to allow religious symbols at facilities Overnight Health Care: Court allows Trump abortion referral ban to take effect | GOP group launches M blitz against 'Medicare for All' | Star GOP lawyer raises constitutional concerns with surprise billing legislation MORE is slated to speak to members at a final event Sunday.