Donald Trump cancels military parade, as projected cost inflated to over $90 million
Trump said he will instead "attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, (and) go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on
President Donald Trump canceled his planned military parade on Friday, blaming Washington city council officials for inflating the cost of holding one.
The cost of the parade was earlier calculated to run about $12 million, but recent estimates pegged the cost to run as high as $92 million by the time Trump canceled the event on Friday.
"The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it. 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," Trump tweeted Friday morning.
Trump said he will instead "attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, (and) go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th."
Earlier on Thursday, the Department of Defense announced that it would be delaying the parade in Washington until 2019 amid reports that the estimated cost for the arrangements would be over $90 million.
President Trump, earlier this year, had ordered the Pentagon to plan for a grand military parade in Washington, D.C. to showcase America's military might, in a similar fashion to that of France.
The Department of Defense Spokesman Col. Rob Manning, however, released a statement, saying: "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," Manning added.
The spokesperson, while talking to USA Today, said that final plans of the military parade have not been approved yet and that they could still make some changes in the cost.
The Military Times, last month, had reported that initial estimates of the parade's cost were $12 million. However, a Department of Defense official spoke to AP on conditions of anonymity and said that the new projection is $92 million, which suggests an increase of 666 percent in the total estimated cost.
The official said that nearly $50 million would be used to cover costs for equipment, personnel and other expenses for the parade, while the rest would be handled by other agencies, including security costs, reports state. Pentagon spokesperson, Jamie Davis, said that "planning for the Military Veterans Day Parade continues and final details are still being developed. Any cost estimates are pre-decisional."
Marching parades with soldiers and tank displays are historically rare in the United States with the last one witnessed in 1991. Trump has often expressed admiration for military parades after witnessing them in other countries. He once reportedly called a procession in China "magnificent" and France's Bastille Day parade "one of the best parades" he had ever seen.
Reports state that the Republican president wants a parade in the US similar to that of France's.
"Because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4th in Washington, down Pennsylvania Avenue," Trump had said during a press conference in September last year with French President Emmanuel Macron.