Trump nixes military parade over price tag, says he’ll go to Paris parade instead

Posted at 4:28 PM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-18 00:16:37-04

President Trump on Friday tweeted that he canceled the military parade planned for November in Washington, blaming high costs that he claimed local politicians set to deter him. Instead, the president said he will be in Paris to watch the Armistice Day parade celebrating the end of World War I on Nov. 11.

Mr. Trump was enamored by Paris’ Bastille Day celebrations last summer, and wanted to fashion a military parade in the United States’ capital after it. French President Emmanuel Macron had previously invited numerous world leaders to France in November for the 100-year anniversary of the end of the first world war.

The Pentagon announced Thursday that the parade in the works for Nov. 10 will be delayed until at least 2019. The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the parade would cost roughly $92 million — more than three times the original estimate. The White House’s budget office had estimated to Congress previously that the parade would cost between $10 million and $30 million.

On Friday, the president blamed local politicians for the high costs, even though the majority of the projected cost is expected to come from the Pentagon and federal agencies. According to a breakdown of estimated costs to the city provided by the D.C. government to CBS News totals $21.6 million.

“The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it,” the president tweeted Friday morning. “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. Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser took to her campaign Twitter account to blast the president back.

Bowser’s office issued an official statement from her later in the day.

“The District has a long history of hosting parades, protests, and demonstrations including National Special Security Events,” Bowser said. “We have always done so professionally, fairly, and efficiently. That has and will continue to be the case. As the District has shown as recently as this past weekend, we can execute these events even under the toughest of circumstances. Any statement to the contrary is an affront to those who safely host events in our nation’s capital each and every day, including our first responders.”