Trump planning Air Force One flyover during July 4 celebration at Mall: report

Trump planning Air Force One flyover during July 4 celebration at Mall: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE reportedly intends to have military planes, including one of the jets used as Air Force One, fly over the National Mall for next month’s July Fourth celebration.

The Washington Post, citing three people briefed on the plans, reported Tuesday that Trump, who has regularly been briefed on the event, hopes to imitate the Bastille Day celebration he attended in 2017 in France that sparked his desire for a July Fourth affair.


Trump would not be on the presidential aircraft during the event, sources told the newspaper.

The Post reported in May that Trump plans to speak at the Lincoln Memorial in an event called “Salute to America,” which will shift the annual fireworks launch from the reflecting pool area to West Potomac Park.

Democrats have expressed concerns over the celebration’s cost, with Sens. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallHouse passes bill to crack down on toxic 'forever chemicals' Overnight Energy: Trump threatens veto on defense bill that targets 'forever chemicals' | Republicans form conservation caucus | Pressure mounts against EPA's new FOIA rule Trump threatens veto on defense bill that targets 'forever chemicals' MORE (N.M.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyLawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US Epstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse MORE (Vt.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenLawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE (Md.) sending a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt requesting additional details.

“We are deeply troubled that the president’s involvement at the event will turn the long-standing, nonpartisan celebration into a de facto campaign rally conducted at taxpayer expense that will serve to further divide rather than unify the nation,” they wrote.

“We are also concerned that the decision to expand the event to include a potential Presidential address will require the National Park Service to divert resources from other priorities of the Mall or other national park system units at a time when it is facing significant budgetary pressures to address its $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog and accommodate record-setting visitation.” 

Van Hollen and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonMajority of Americans opposes DC statehood: poll DC statehood hearing rescheduled to make room for Mueller testimony DC mayor: Trump's July 4 celebration 'depleted' security fund MORE (D) also wrote to congressional appropriators Tuesday, saying additional funds were needed for the District of Columbia’s Emergency Planning and Security Fund before it runs out of money in July. It is in danger of going in the red partially because it has not yet been reimbursed $7.3 million for costs from Trump’s 2017 inauguration. 

“It is important to note that the spend rate does not factor in the substantial unanticipated costs for President Trump’s July 4th speech and activities at the Lincoln Memorial,” Van Hollen and Norton wrote. “Since the July 4th program has not yet been set, those costs are still unknown.”