Trump canceled military parade before he heard parade's cost

A Defense Department spokesman said Monday that President Trump had not yet been briefed on the military parade's cost when he cancelled it last week--contradicting Trump's Friday tweet, which blamed DC politicians for charging too much money.
By Rick Docksai | Aug 21, 2018
President Trump had not yet gotten word of his upcoming military parade's cost when he decided to cancel it last week, Defense Department spokesman Col. Rob Manning said Monday. Manning told reporters that Trump issued the cancellation order before Pentagon officials had briefed him on cost estimates.

"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 statement contradicts Trump's version of the story. On Friday, Trump tweeted that he was calling the parade off and blamed "local politicians who run Washington, DC" for charging a "ridiculously high" price. Trump's tweet followed a leak Thursday from an undisclosed Pentagon source who said that the parade would cost approximately $92 million.

Defense Secretary James Mattis questioned this alleged price tag that same day, however. Mattis told reporters that he did not think that there was any total cost estimate yet and that whoever gave out the number is "an idiot."

Manning took no position on the alleged $92 million cost estimate and said only that any figure that reporters had received Thursday was "predecisional." The spokesman told reporters that the parade's planning committee had not yet presented any cost estimates to their senior leaders, much less the president, as "the planning had not reached that level."

Trump originally called for the parade in February. It would have taken place in Washington, DC, on Veterans Day, which falls on November 11.

Pentagon officials are now "exploring options" for hosting the parade next year instead, Manning said Monday.

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