Park Service to divert $2.5 million for Trump’s July 4 event: report
The National Park Service has reportedly been directed to divert nearly $2.5 million in funding to the Washington, D.C., “Salute to America” event planned by President Trump for the Fourth of July.
The funding, originally intended for upkeep and maintenance in the nation’s national park system, was redirected for the celebration, two people familiar with the administration’s efforts told The Washington Post on Tuesday.
The event will include military tanks and a flyover from aircraft including the new “Marine One” helicopter.
The figure transferred from the Park Service is reportedly a fraction of the total cost of this year’s event, which will also feature appearances by the Annapolis-based Blue Angels and a B-2 bomber. It has already vastly outpaced the total cost the Park Service has spent in past years on the annual July Fourth celebration, which an official told the Post usually reaches about $2 million per year.
News of the high cost for the celebration comes as the president has faced criticism over politicizing the event, which grew in volume this week as it was reported by HuffPost that Republican National Committee members and top donors were given VIP tickets to the events.
The head of the National Parks Conservation Association ripped the move, describing the diversion of funds as a “breach of trust with the public” in a statement to the Post on Tuesday.
“This is a breach of trust with the public,” said Theresa Pierno. “The public pays parks fees to fix national parks and for educational programs, not the president’s parade.”