Defense Department Spokesman Says Donald Trump Canceled the Planned Military Parade Before He Was Briefed on Costs

His story is not holding up.

President Donald Trump has long made it clear that he would like to see a military parade in Washington, and the White House was planning one for Veterans Day of this year until Donald Trump announced he was canceling the event.

His reason: cost overruns, blaming “local politicians”:

But turns out, according to Defense Department spokesman Colonel Rob Manning, that’s not the case after all.

Manning told reporters at the Pentagon this week:

“The president was not briefed by any member of the Department of Defense on any cost associated with the parade.”

It had been reported that the parade would cost an estimated $92 million to organize, well above the initial $12 million estimate.

Naturally, the Defense Department’s statements have opened up the president to criticism, and he was derided as a liar.

The $92 million price tag for the event leaked to the media on Thursday, but Secretary of Defense James Mattis disputed it, telling reporters that whoever gave out that cost estimate is “an idiot.”

Colonel Manning on Thursday said that he could not confirm the $92 million amount, as “the planning had not reached that level.” and he had not been briefed on figures.

“Any figure that was cited was predecisional. The planning committee for the parade had not reached a point where they have briefed senior leadership in the department. It was moving forward, it had just not matured to that point,” Manning said at the time.

Manning repeated what the Pentagon said on Thursday: That the Pentagon will now “explore opportunities in 2019” to hold the parade.

“We are now going to look at providing options that will go up to the president for a decision for 2019,” he said.

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