Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren condemned President Donald Trump’s Fourth of July celebration, telling a CNN reporter that the “Salute to America” is really more of a salute to Trump, Newsweek reported.
VIP guests at the event, many of whom are Republican operatives and big-ticket donors to the party, were seated in a cordoned off area around the Lincoln Memorial. From there, they watched in comfort as jets, bombers and helicopters roared over Washington.
All things considered, Warren argued that the public should not be footing the bill for the “Salute to America.”
“Trump is handing out tickets to his big donors,” she told CNN reporter MJ Lee. “That’s a campaign event. And if he’s going to do a campaign event, then it should be paid for by his campaign contributions.”
Trump and his team have been evasive on the estimated cost of the spectacle, with the President suggesting the event will be cheap because the U.S. already owns the military vehicles involved.
However, the National Park Service has seen around $2.5 million of its funds from entrance and recreation fees allocated to cover costs of the event, The Washington Post reported. This is in addition to the $2 million usually earmarked for Fourth of July celebrations on the National Mall.
When Trump first suggested a Washington military parade in 2018, defense officials warned it could cost as much as $92 million, $50 million of which would have to come from the Pentagon. The costing meant the plan was put on hold, though ultimately only delayed for a year and downsized from the Bastille Day-style parade that Trump so desires, Newsweek adds.