President Donald Trump said Friday he canceled his plans for a military parade originally scheduled for November, citing what he called a “ridiculously high” cost he blamed on local politicians.
On Twitter, Trump said he would instead go to an event at Andrews Air Force Base and attend a Nov.11 parade in Paris marking the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I.
His announcement came a day after the Defense Department said the planned parade would be postponed until at least 2019, and it was reported that the cost estimate had jumped to $92 million — about $80 million over the original budget.
Trump said “the local politicians who run Washington, D.C.” wanted a “ridiculously high” price, so he canceled the event. He did not mention any estimates by federal agencies.
The Associated Press, meanwhile, reported that Pentagon estimates showed more than half the price would come from military aircraft, equipment, personnel and other support, with the remainder being borne by other agencies.
Trump decided he wanted to hold a military parade after attending the Bastille Day celebration in France last year, where he was a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Earlier this year, Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney told a House committee the parade could cost as much as $30 million, depending on the length.
Democrats criticized the idea, as did the American Legion.
“The American Legion appreciates that our president wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops,” said Denise Rohan, national commander of the veterans’ group. “However, until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home, we think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veterans Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible,” Rohan said.
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