WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is canceling his plans for a military parade through the streets of Washington because the price was “ridiculously high.”
On Twitter, Trump accused local politicians of price gouging, although the projected $92 million cost was largely attributed to Pentagon costs for aircraft, equipment and personnel.
Trump tweeted “maybe we will do something next year when the cost comes WAY DOWN.”
Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, had said the military and the White House had “agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”
Trump had called for the patriotic show of force last year after watching France’s Bastille Day celebration in the center of Paris at the invitation of the French president. But the project has been beset with logistical hurdles, such as the damage heavy tanks would do to city streets and an exorbitant price tag.
The parade was expected to include troops from all five armed services — the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard — as well as units in period uniforms representing earlier times in the nation’s history. It also was expected to involve a number of military aircraft flyovers.
A Pentagon planning memo released in March said the parade would feature a “heavy air component,” likely including older, vintage aircraft. It also said there would be “wheeled vehicles only, no tanks — consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure.” Big, heavy tanks could tear up streets in the District of Columbia.
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