The Defense Department announced the cancellation of this year’s Veterans Day parade late last night, after reports that the event would cost $92 million — $80 million more than originally anticipated.
“Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN,” President Donald Trump tweeted. “Now we can buy some more jet fighters!”
A Pentagon spokesman said administration officials have agreed to explore opportunities in 2019, the Associated Press reports.
Despite the majority of the parade costs coming from the Pentagon for military vehicle transport, Trump blamed local leadership for the high 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 holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it,” he tweeted early Friday morning.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was quick to clap back, tweeting that she’s the one “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 White House had been facing criticism for the costly parade, with many suggesting there are better ways to honor the nation’s veterans.
In a statement Thursday, The American Legion said they appreciate that “our president wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops,” but until all the military troops are home, “we think 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.”
With this year’s parade canceled, Trump said he’ll be celebrating Veterans Day with the parade already scheduled at the Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, plus heading to Paris for their celebration of the end of World War I on November 11.