Published: Mon, August 20, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump cancels military parade, blaming costs on Washington officials - Ireland

Trump cancels military parade, blaming costs on Washington officials - Ireland

Most of the balance of the costs would cover security provided by other government agencies. "Don't blame others", Washington, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, another Democrat, also tweeted.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser suggested the cost to the city alone would have been more than $20 million. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss early planning estimates that have not yet been finalized or released publicly.

The Pentagon, which offered the price estimate, postponed the parade on Thursday to an undetermined date in 2019. There was no precise route specified, or estimates for the number of people or pieces of military equipment that would be involved.

"We had a general idea that it was from the Capitol to the White House, but that's it", the official said.

US officials told The Associated Press that the cost could reach $92 million, with roughly $50 million needed to cover military aircraft, equipment, personnel and other support.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis questioned the $92 million figure on Thursday, telling the AP that whoever leaked the figure to the press was "probably smoking something". "Any cost estimates are pre-decisional".

Trump had said back in February that a military parade in Washington would be "great for the spirit of the country", but would need to come at a "reasonable cost".

Friday, he tweeted, "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".

The United States has not held a major military parade in Washington D.C. since the end of Operation Desert Storm was marked in 1991.

Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said on Thursday that the USA 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.

Just last weekend, the city said it spent $2.6 million on a white-supremacist rally at which only two dozen demonstrators showed up.

About $13 million of the city's expenses would be for police costs.

"If the parade had been canceled purely for fiscal reasons, I imagine I would have been in the room when that decision was made, and I wasn't", Mulvaney said on Fox News.

John J. Falcicchio, chief of staff to Bowser, took issue with Trump's claim that the city is "poorly" run, calling it "fake news".

Some leading Democrats in Congress have also argued the parade envisioned by Trump would be wasteful.

The Pentagon began planning Trump's military parade in earnest in March, putting U.S. Northern Command in charge with a smaller headquarters at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., taking a leading role.

Senator Jack Reed, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said halting the parade was the right call. "Defense dollars would be better spent equipping our troops, caring for veterans, and enhancing national security". "Like our bond rating", Falcicchio said in sub-tweeting Trump.

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