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President Donald Trump claimed Friday morning that he canceled the military parade he had asked the Pentagon to plan, and he blamed local D.C. politicians for "ridiculously high" costs.
The Pentagon announced the decision to cancel the planned November parade Thursday night, hours after CNBC reported that the event would cost $92 million — $80 million more than an initial estimate given in July.
"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.
In a second tweet, Trump noted that the funds saved from the now-postponed parade could go toward buying new fighter jets.
"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's tweet provoked a response from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser: She called Trump a "reality star in the White House."
The parade was scheduled for Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day and just days after Election Day, when voters will decide which party will have the majority in Congress. The parade, which was to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, had been estimated to cost $92 million, an official with knowledge of the planning told CNBC.
The figure consisted of $50 million from the Pentagon and $42 million from interagency partners such as the Department of Homeland Security. An initial estimate last month pegged the prospective cost for the parade at $12 million.
That $92 million cost estimate included security, transportation of parade assets, aircraft, as well as temporary duty for troops. The official also noted that, while the size and scope of the military parade can still shift, the plans included approximately eight tanks, as well as other armored vehicles like Bradleys, Strykers and M113s.
The Pentagon said in a statement Thursday that it would "explore opportunities" in 2019 for Trump's military parade.