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

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanDemocrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' Democrats walk out of Trump's address: 'It's like watching professional wrestling' Trump set to confront his impeachment foes 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 ChaoWatchdog sues for records of Boeing's communications with Trump's Transportation Department The Hill's Morning Report - Report of Bolton tell-all manuscript roils Trump defense Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate 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 TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record 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 UdallOvernight Energy: Experts criticize changes to EPA lead, copper rule | House panel looks into plan to limit powers of EPA science advisers | Senate bill aims for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 Overnight Energy: Trump budget slashes EPA funding | International hunting council disbands amid lawsuit | Bill targets single-use plastics Bill targets single-use plastics in push to make manufacturers responsible 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.