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 TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president 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 UdallOvernight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Democrats vow to force third vote on Trump's border wall emergency declaration Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall MORE (N.M.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate opens Trump impeachment trial Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Democrats vow to force third vote on Trump's border wall emergency declaration MORE (Vt.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Defense: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon GAO finds Trump administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid Lobbying World 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 NortonBicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers Overnight Energy: Mark Ruffalo pushes Congress on 'forever chemicals' | Lawmakers spar over actor's testimony | House Dems unveil renewable energy tax plan | Funding for conservation program passes Senate hurdle Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman 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.”