WASHINGTON – Just when it seemed that President Trump had been overtaken in his order of a parade in the capital, he played the drum again.
This time, the commander-in-chief suggested on Tuesday, could the Fourth of July be more conducive to a celebration march?
Having been blocked last year for his proposal for a military parade like the one he saw during his visit to Paris, Trump has now turned to the Department of the Interior to give him what the Pentagon would not give him. He even has a name for it.
"A parade of" greetings to the United States, "the president said at a meeting of his White House cabinet, calling him more of" a meeting, rather than a parade, I suppose you should say. "
Jim Mattis, the former Secretary of Defense, opposed the march of the US military march on Constitution Avenue, flanked by tanks and fighter jets. So Mr. Trump is recruiting David Bernhardt, the interim secretary of the interior, whose department oversees the National Park Services.
"Maybe at the Lincoln Memorial," Mr. Trump reflected on the location of a celebration.
"David, you take care of that and we'll see how it works with schedules and everything else," the president said.
Pentagon officials rushed to direct inquiries about the new parade to the Department of the Interior, where officials could not be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon.
Last year's Department of Defense cost estimate for a Veterans Day parade amounted to $ 92 million, which caused the White House to suffer a tag shock and caused Mr. Trump to withdraw his request. In August, he blamed local government officials in Washington for inflating the price of the parade "so ridiculously high that I canceled it."
"Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost is reduced", Mr. Trump wrote at the time on Twitter. "Now we can buy more fighter jets!"
This time, Mr. Trump said he has already found some savings: fireworks. "We received free fireworks because they are already being done," the president said.
On July 4, the National Park Service paid $ 270,000 for 18 minutes of fireworks. If those savings make a big dent in the expected cost of a parade, it will depend on what type of parade this is.
It was not clear if an Independence Day parade would include the tanks, fighter jets and troops that have so enamored Mr. Trump. The committee that planned its inaugural ceremony allegedly explored, but refused, using military equipment in the traditional White House parade from the Capitol after Mr. Trump took the oath.
On the way home, he told Mr. Mattis that he also wanted one.