Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump Admits He Was Underfunding Military Budget to Make Room for Parade

Trump Admits He Was Underfunding Military Budget to Make Room for Parade

The Defense Department and the White House, which had targeted a November date for the Washington military parade sought by President Trump, will instead "explore opportunities in 2019", a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement.

Officials have been planning the event since earlier this year, when the president, apparently inspired by a similar display he observed last year in France, discussed the parade in a meeting with senior officials at the Pentagon.

But a USA official told AFP earlier Thursday the planning estimate had now gone as high as US$92 million, though no final figure has been reached.

Trump said he would instead attend an event at Andrews Air Force Base on another day and travel to Paris for November 11 events marking the centennial of the end of fighting in World War I.

President Trump has been itching to hold a massive military parade where he could observe all the cool military equipment, because that idea occupies the exact sweet spot in the Venn diagram between "aspiring authoritarian" and "small child somehow gains terrifying powers".

Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, hit back at Trump, saying in a Twitter post that she was "the local politician who finally got thru to the reality star in the White House with the realities ($21.6M) of parades/events/demonstrations in Trump America (sad)".

The Defense Department had announced Thursday there would be no parade in 2018. It also was expected to involve a number of military aircraft flyovers.

At the time, reports explained that the exercise was routine and would have cost less than one fighter jet, or approximately $14 million.

She listed the estimate of parades, events, and predicted demonstrations as $21.6 million. But the veterans group believes that with troops still deployed overseas in the fight against terrorism, "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". The Pentagon encouraged the use of wheeled vehicles only, and no tanks to "minimize damage to local infrastructure".

The Pentagon said the parade was planned to travel from the White House to the Capitol, and would feature a "heavy air component at the end".

"We're going to have to try and top it", he said.

In 1991, tanks and thousands of troops paraded through Washington to celebrate the ousting of President Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the Gulf War.

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