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Trump blames ‘local politicians’ for derailing military parade.

President Trump on Friday canceled his military parade as he accused DC politicians of price-gouging – a day after his own secretary of defense scoffed at a report about the price tag. “The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it. When asked to give us a price for...
Time: 10:16     Date: 17.08.2018
Last US News: Trump blames ‘local politicians’ for derailing military parade. NY Post 24 - US News

“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,” Trump said on Twitter.

“Never let someone hold you up! 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,” he wrote, referring to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

“Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!” Trump added.

He did not explain how the costs would be reduced and it was not immediately clear what previously scheduled parade he was referring to at the base in Maryland.

Washington’s mayor responded to Trump’s tweet with one of her own.

“Yup, I’m Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington DC, 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),” she said.

The $21.6 million apparently referred to the payment requested by DC to cover its expenses.

The Pentagon had already announced Thursday that the Veterans Day parade, planned for Nov. 10, would be postponed until at least next year. Its price kept escalating, with the latest projection saying it would cost $92 million – up $80 million over the initial estimate.

Much of the projected cost — $50 million — was attributed to Pentagon costs for aircraft, equipment and personnel.

Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday that the military and the White House “have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, traveling with reporters to Colombia, laughed off reports that the parade price had gotten too high.

“Whoever told you that is probably smoking something that is legal in my state, but not in most states,” he said.

“I’m not dignifying that number with any reply. I would discount that. And anybody who said that, I almost guarantee you one thing, they probably said, ‘I need to stay anonymous.’ No kidding, because you look like an idiot,” the Pentagon chief continued.

“And No. 2, whoever wrote it needs to get better sources. I’ll just leave it at that. But I don’t know who wrote it. I haven’t seen it. But I guarantee you there’s been no cost estimate.”

The president ordered up the military extravaganza after attending a massive military parade in Paris on Bastille Day in 2017.

“It was a tremendous day, and to a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Trump said in September while meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“We’re going to have to try to top it, but we have a lot of planes going over and a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see, and representatives from different wars and different uniforms,” he added, referring to the parade in Paris.

But the parade’s cost has become a politically charged issue, particularly after the Pentagon canceled a joint military exercise planned for August with South Korea after Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump said the drills were provocative and that canceling them would save the US “a tremendous amount of money.” The Pentagon later said the Korea drills would have cost $14 million.

With Post Wires

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