2020 candidate Tim Ryan questions Trump administration about planned July 4 event cost

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic field narrows with Inslee exit Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report MORE (D-Ohio), who is running for president, wrote a letter on Tuesday questioning Trump administration officials about how much the president's planned Fourth of July "Salute to America" event will cost. 

Ryan, in the letter to acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoTrump administration takes step to relax truck driver time regulations New guidance on travel with service animals is a step forward, but more can be done The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller testimony gives Trump a boost as Dems ponder next steps MORE and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, expressed concern the administration "is wasting scarce defense, national park, and infrastructure funding" on the event.

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"Precious resources are being diverted to a public spectacle masquerading as a Trump campaign rally," he wrote, citing Pentagon memos advising against "military-style parades as inordinately costly and reminiscent of dictatorships in China, North Korea, and Iran."

He asked that the officials provide a projected cost of all activities associated with the event and list projected infrastructure damage, in addition to other information. 

"The American people deserve to understand the full cost of such behavior," he wrote. 

The Hill has reached out to the Transportation and Defense departments for comment. 

"DOI will respond through the proper channels," said Interior Department spokeswoman Molly Block in a statement. 

His letter follows President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE's announcement that he will speak July 4 at the Lincoln Memorial. The president also said Monday that he wanted military tanks at the event. News outlets on Tuesday reported the presence of tanks in Washington. 

Also on Tuesday, Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallDemocrats, environmentalists blast Trump rollback of endangered species protections Republicans should get behind the 28th Amendment New Mexico says EPA abandoned state in fight against toxic 'forever chemicals' MORE (D-N.M.) released a statement saying that the Interior Department did not answer his questions about the Independence Day plans, including how the additional cost of the plans will be covered.

Ryan is among more than two dozen people running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.