President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled 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.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2019
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.
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 WilkieFormer VA secretaries propose National Warrior Call Day to raise military suicide awareness Biden's nominee for VA secretary isn't a veteran — does it matter? Biden VA pick faces 'steep learning curve' at massive agency MORE is slated to speak to members at a final event Sunday.