Trump Retreats From Massive Military Parade in Capital

Trump Retreats From Massive Military Parade in Capital

US President Donald Trump said on Friday (US time) he had cancelled plans for a Veterans Day military parade, citing the "ridiculously high" price tag.

In a series of tweets, Trump blamed local officials in Washington, alleging without evidence that they had inflated the cost to the city of a display of America's armed forces that had been inspired by Trump's visit previous year to a Bastille Day parade in Paris.

Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, hit back at Trump, saying in a Twitter post that she was "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)". "Never let someone hold you up!" he continued.

He added that this year will attend the big parade at the US naval base Andrews and go to the parade in Paris, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the termination of the First world war.

Trump tweeted "maybe we will do something next year when the cost comes WAY DOWN".

But officials said the estimates were still preliminary and so were not submitted to Mattis or Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"I'm not dignifying that number ($92 million) with a reply".

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Earlier today a Pentagon official leaked an estimate that the parade would cost $92 million, almost eight times the official estimate provided earlier this year. According to the reports, a budget of $92 million was asked. It also was expected to involve a number of military aircraft flyovers. "We're going to have to try to top it", he later told French President Emmanuel Macron. "And number two whoever wrote it needs to get better sources".

A US official told Reuters the parade could cost more than $90 million, as estimate Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he hasn't seen.

Trump's parade, which will run down Pennsylvania Ave, is slated for November 10.

The American Legion, a veterans organization, said Thursday that while it appreciated that Trump wanted to show support for US troops, other priorities should win out. (The actual cost of military medical care specifically for trans troops is around $2.4 to $8.4 million annually-way less than a parade.) Nope. "I'll just leave it at that". He noted that France had represented uniforms and equipment from different wars and that the Bastille Day parade lasted a full two hours.

Bowser said she opposes the parade regardless of the price.

So rather than hold that parade, would the money be better spent if it were used to restore some of that slashed funding for United Nations peacekeeping missions that nearly invariably use non-American troops?

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