Trump cancels military parade, blaming DC for cost
President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE on Friday said that he was canceling plans for a military parade, blaming a $92 million price tag and local politicians in Washington, D.C.
The cost of the parade had appeared to be escalating, with reports on Thursday estimating it would be $80 million more than previously estimated at a time of rising debt.
Trump said "local politicians" in D.C. were responsible for the cost in announcing the cancelation, though he offered no specific evidence.
"The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it. When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it. Never let someone hold you up! I will instead attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, & go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th," Trump wrote.
"Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN," he added. "Now we can buy some more jet fighters!"
The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it. When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it. Never let someone hold you up! I will instead...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2018ADVERTISEMENT
....attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, & go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th. Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2018
It wasn't immediately clear what Trump was referring to in tweeting about a previously scheduled parade at Andrews Air Force Base, which is in Maryland.
According to a CNBC report on Thursday, the Pentagon had estimated it would need $50 million to do the parade, while the Department of Homeland Security said it would need an additional $42 million.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) responded to Trump's tweet with some sarcasm on Twitter, taking credit for "finally" getting through to the "reality star in the White House" about the cost of parades in D.C.
Yup, I’m Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington DC, the local politician who finally got thru to the reality star in the White House with the realities ($21.6M) of parades/events/demonstrations in Trump America (sad). https://t.co/vqC3d8FLqx— MurielBowser (@MurielBowser) August 17, 2018
The CNBC report said the larger price tag highlighted by the federal government agencies was necessary to get the aircraft and other military equipment to the parade, to ensure security and to pay for the troops to be present, among other costs.
The cancelation is likely a disappointment for Trump, who was impressed with a military parade he attended in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron celebrating Bastille Day. Trump returned from that event wanting to bring a parade to Pennsylvania Avenue on Veterans Day.
“Because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4th in Washington down Pennsylvania [Avenue],” Trump said last September, after a visit to France. “We’re thinking … of having a really great parade, to show our military strength.”
Despite canceling the parade Friday morning, the president was lashing out at critics of the plans late Thursday, calling Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) a "loser" after the senator called on Trump to use the money instead to fund health benefits for veterans.
"How can 'Senator' Richard Blumenthal, who went around for twenty years as a Connecticut politician bragging that he was a great Marine war hero in Vietnam (then got caught and sobbingly admitted he was neither a Marine nor ever in Vietnam), pass judgement on anyone? Loser!" Trump wrote in a tweet.