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

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy 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 ChaoDemocratic chairman presses Transportation secretary over transparency in Boeing 737 Max probe Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Democratic lawmaker asks for probe of reports Chao favored Kentucky officials 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 TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' 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 UdallSenate fails to override Trump veto over emergency declaration Democratic senators condemn Trump for calling on China to investigate Bidens Green groups line up behind Markey ahead of looming Kennedy fight 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.