President Trump said Friday that he has canceled plans for a military parade in Washington this fall amid reports of rapidly rising costs.
On Thursday, an unnamed source at the Pentagon told CNBC that cost estimate for the parade had ballooned from $12 million to $92 million, inspiring a blizzard of critical comments, many focused on the need increased funding for veterans’ programs.
Perhaps most notably, the American Legion released a statement saying that it “appreciates that our president wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops. 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.”
By Thursday evening, a Pentagon spokesman said the parade would likely be postponed until 2019.
Trump blamed local politicians for the escalating costs, tweeting Friday morning, “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. Never let someone hold you up!”
Trump said that he will attend previously scheduled parades at Andrews Air Force Base and in Paris, adding, “Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!”