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 TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff 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.

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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 UdallDemocratic senators condemn Trump for calling on China to investigate Bidens Green groups line up behind Markey ahead of looming Kennedy fight Overnight Energy: Lawmakers show irritation over withheld Interior documents | Republican offers bipartisan carbon tax bill | Scientists booted from EPA panel form new group MORE (N.M.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyRand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter Senator questions agencies on suicide prevention, response after Epstein's death in federal custody During impeachment storm, senators cross aisle to lessen mass incarceration MORE (Vt.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenCheney unveils Turkey sanctions legislation Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria pullout 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 NortonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Association of Manufacturers - Trump defends Ukraine motives while attacking Biden DC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Democrat accuses GOP of opposing DC statehood because of 'race and partisanship' 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.”