Pentagon spent $1.2 million for President Trump’s July 4 “Salute to America”

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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 03: Members of the U.S. Army finish parking an Bradley fighting vehicle in front of the Lincoln Memorial ahead of the Fourth of July “Salute to America” celebration on July 3, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump will deliver a speech at the memorial with military hardware on display including tanks, and flyovers by military aircraft. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump’s “Salute to America” Fourth of July celebration cost the Department of Defense $1.2 million, the Pentagon told CBS News on Tuesday.

That figure does not represent the full cost of the event to taxpayers, but it does include the cost of flying hours and transportation for tanks and fighting vehicle platforms. Funding for the demonstrations, a Pentagon spokesman says, came from the services’ training budgets for flying hours, and additional funds were used for the transportation of equipment. 

The Pentagon noted it’s spent comparable amounts, if not more, on other events. The Pentagon noted that San Francisco Fleet Week cost $1.8 million in 2017, and Los Angeles Fleet Week cost $1.6 million. 

In 2018, the Pentagon noted, the Army conducted 44 flyovers, and the Marine Corps conducted 22 flyovers. 

Mr. Trump faced criticism for using taxpayer dollars for the military demonstration, although he insisted the cost “the cost of our great Salute to America … will be very little compared to what it is worth.” He was also criticized by Democrats for emphasizing the nation’s military might on Independence Day. 

The Interior Department reportedly diverted $2.5 million in funds meant for national parks for the event. 

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