By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
President Donald Trump said Friday that he canceled a US military parade planned for Veterans Day weekend, blaming Washington city officials for inflating costs amid reports that indicated the event’s price tag had soared over initial estimates.
“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 tweeted Friday morning.
The President said he will instead “attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, (and) go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th.”
He added, “Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!”
CNN has reached out to the Washington, DC, mayor’s office for response.
On Thursday, the Pentagon announced that it was postponing the parade until next year. Earlier in the day, CNBC and ABC News, citing unnamed officials, reported that the cost estimate of the parade — which was estimated in July to cost approximately $12 million — had swelled to $92 million.
An administration official told CNN that the $92 million figure was a planning estimate for an event that would meet Trump’s intent, and that about half of that amount is for non-military costs like security.
Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday said that the reports of a $92 million tab for the parade were inaccurate and that he has “received no such estimate.”
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.”