Defense officials didn’t brief President Donald Trump on cost estimates for his long-desired military parade before he canceled it last week, the Pentagon announced Monday, seemingly contradicting the president’s own statements on the matter.
- “The president was not briefed by any member of the Department of Defense on any cost associated with the parade,” Col. Rob Manning told reporters at the Pentagon.
- Manning’s announcement appears to be at odds with what Trump said after media outlets reported last week that the military extravaganza, which was originally planned for Nov. 10, could set taxpayers back $92 million.
- “The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it,” Trump tweeted Friday. “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.”
- A White House spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
- The Pentagon announced Thursday that Trump’s controversial parade had been canceled and that officials were looking into “opportunities in 2019” to throw the armed spectacle. Officials did not provide a reason for the postponement, but the announcement came hours after reports of the hefty parade price tag.
- “We are now going to look at providing options that will go up to the president for a decision for 2019,” Manning reiterated Monday.
Trump raised eyebrows earlier this year when he demanded an armed forces parade be held in the nation’s capital. Such blatant shows of force are common in authoritarian countries such as China and North Korea.
The U.S. typically doesn’t hold such parades unless they coincide with particular military feats. The last military parade was held in 1991 and commemorated the end of the Persian Gulf War.
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