Trump’s grand military parade postponed until next year

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump's military parade is estimated to cost 92 million dollars, according to a CNBC report on Thursday, quoting an anonymous US defence official.

Earlier today a Pentagon official leaked an estimate that the parade would cost $92 million, almost eight times the official estimate provided earlier this year.

The Pentagon's portion of that tab was as high as $50 million, which would pay for equipment, troops, flyovers and support staff, the official said.

Earlier this year, the White House budget director told Congress that the cost to taxpayers could be $10 million to $30 million.

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The announcement was seen as a setback for the president, who had ordered the show of air power after being impressed by France's Bastille Day parade past year. "It was two hours on the button, and was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France".

A Pentagon memo in March said the parade would feature a "heavy air component" with vintage aircraft.

Trump said it was possible the parade could be staged next year if the cost "comes WAY DOWN" and added that with the savings "we can buy some more jet fighters!"

Details are not final and haven't been approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

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But a U.S. official told AFP earlier Thursday the planning estimate had now gone as high as $92 million, though no final figure has been reached.

The Pentagon cancelled a military exercise planned for August with South Korea following Mr Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Even before becoming president, aides reported that Trump had considered a military parade to mark his inauguration - although that idea was eventually scrapped. He said he had seen no estimate of the costs as he questioned the accuracy of media reports.

The Department of Defense and its interagency partners have updated their perspective cost estimates for the parade, according to a USA defense official with firsthand knowledge of the assessment. The Pentagon encouraged the use of wheeled vehicles only, and no tanks to "minimize damage to local infrastructure". The parade was planned to go along Pennsylvania Avenue, passing the Capitol, the White House, and the Trump International Hotel. "I mean, we're going to be showing our military".

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