Trump nixes $92M military parade, blames DC for high cost
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday he had canceled plans for a Veterans Day military parade, citing the “ridiculously high” price tag — a day after U.S. officials said the November event could cost $92 million, more than three times the price first suggested by the White House.
Trump on Twitter accused local Washington, D.C., politicians of price-gouging. But preliminary estimates from the Pentagon showed that roughly $50 million would cover military aircraft, equipment, personnel and other support. The remainder would be borne by other agencies and largely involve security costs.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser shot back on Twitter Friday that she was the one 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).”
The Defense Department had announced Thursday there would be no parade in 2018. Trump tweeted that perhaps something could be scheduled next year when the price “comes WAY DOWN.” He did not explain how the costs would be reduced.
Trump said he would instead attend an event at Andrews Air Force Base on another day and travel to Paris for Nov. 11 events marking the centennial of the end of fighting in World War I.
The president added: “Now we can buy some more jet fighters!” He did not offer additional details.
Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday that the military and the White House had “agreed to explore opportunities in 2019,” an announcement that came several hours after reports about the projected parade price tag.
The Associated Press reported that the parade would cost about $92 million, according to U.S. officials citing preliminary estimates more than three times the price first suggested by the White House. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss early planning estimates that have not yet been finalized or released publicly.