President Donald Trump blamed the Washington, D.C., government Friday for his decision to cancel a proposed military parade – though many federal officials also raised concerns about the cost and logistics.
“The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it,” Trump tweeted. “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!”
Trump also announced he would attend the smaller parade already scheduled for Joint Base Andrews, as well as Nov. 11 parade in Paris to mark 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
“Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN,” Trump tweeted. “Now we can buy some more jet fighters!”
Trump’s attendance at Paris military parade last year inspired him to call for an American version, now postponed because of ever-rising costs.
U.S. officials on Thursday put the potential cost at up to $92 million, some $80 million more than initially estimated – cited expenses for aircraft, equipment, personnel and security, not charges from the Washington, D.C., government as claimed by Trump.
In a statement, the Pentagon said “the Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America’s military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I. We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”
Some military groups welcomed the decision.
“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,” the American Legion said.