The National Park Service is Diverting Millions to Help Pay for Trump’s July 4th Campaign Rally


According to Washington Post report, $2.5 million “intended to improve parks across the country” will be diverted to cover the costs of Trump’s Independence Day celebration on the Washington D.C. Mall.

Here is a taste of the Post reporting:

The National Park Service is diverting nearly $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees primarily intended to improve parks across the country to cover costs associated with President Trump’s Independence Day celebration Thursday on the Mall, according to two individuals familiar with the arrangement.

Trump administration officials have consistently refused to say how much taxpayers will have to pay for the expanded celebration on the Mall this year, which the president has dubbed the “Salute to America.” The two individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, confirmed the transfer of the Park Service funds Tuesday.

The diverted park fees represent just a fraction of the extra costs the government faces as a result of the event, which will include displays of military hardware, flyovers by an array of jets including Air Force One, the deployment of tanks on the Mall and an extended pyrotechnics show. By comparison, according to former Park Service deputy director Denis P. Galvin, the entire Fourth of July celebration on the Mall typically costs the agency about $2 million.

For Trump’s planned speech at the Lincoln Memorial, the White House is distributing VIP tickets to Republican donors and political appointees, prompting objections from Democratic lawmakers who argue that the president has turned the annual celebration into a campaign-like event.

The Republican National Committee and Trump’s reelection campaign confirmed Tuesday that they had received passes they were handing out for the event.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.), the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the interior, environment and related agencies, said in a phone interview. “No ticketed political event should be paid for with taxpayer dollars.”

The White House referred questions about the celebration to the Interior Department, which declined to comment.

Read the rest here.

17 thoughts on “The National Park Service is Diverting Millions to Help Pay for Trump’s July 4th Campaign Rally

  1. Jeff,
    Mueller’s main mission was to undue the results of the last presidential election by connecting The Donald to Russia. All of the other stuff about Manafort’s Ukraine ties and Cohen’s taxi medallions was incidental. To put it crassly these men were seen as collateral damage in the effort to unseat Trump. Incidentally, the treatment of LTG Flynn was morally disgraceful.

    In terms of obstruction Mueller, the hired gun, failed his elite employers in not being able to martial adequate evidence which would have resulted in charges. It was obvious by the crestfallen-looking countenances on CNN and MSNBC (as well as Capitol Hill DEMs) that Bob had failed them. Their hero, who was going to land a knock-out blow to Trump, disappointed them with a weak glancing punch to the arm. He can now return to his lucrative private law practice.


  2. James, Mueller’s investigation did not fail.
    It was an investigation. He was charged with investigating and making a report. He did.
    He presented the evidence he found. He did not find significant evidence of collusion. He found significant evidence of obstruction of justice.
    He seems to never have thought it his job to indict a sitting president. But he had no problem indicating others.
    If you mean it failed to do what some people wanted, you can say that about practically any investigation where different people would like different outcomes. Someone would say it failed in some way.
    Trump did not come out well on the obstruction aspect in the investigation.
    Probably nothing will come of that.
    Anyway Mueller didn’t “fail”.


  3. Sheridan,
    You are correct about the speed of the expenditures. This is due to the fact that Mueller’s failed investigation and Trump’s unnecessary parade had/have very different means and goals. My only point was that the people who are crowing the loudest about federal expenditures actually have minimal regard for the blowing of taxpayer dollars.


  4. Mueller didn’t spend $2.5 million on a one-day event which is turning into an ego-rally for Trump.


  5. I understand the desire to publicly recognize the military. What I do not understand is why that needs to be the central focus on the fourth. The declaring of independence was an accomplishment primarily of the mind rather than military strength. We are not commemorating the Treaty of Paris of 1783. It would seem more appropriate to have a public parade of intellectuals. As President Obama put it, “the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals.”


  6. Since the publication of this piece by The Washington Post, several of the dutiful servants of the Washington power elite have gone publicly through the motions of showing “concern” about the cost of Trump’s Independence Day event. The Post even tried to make the case that two and a half million dollars reallocated within Department of the Interior was going to hurt minimally visited parks.
    This newly found concern for federal frugality is transparently disingenuous. After all, not one of these reborn budget hawks blinked an eye or raised a whimper as Bob Mueller blew through thirty million dollars in his unsuccessful effort to “”get Trump.” What’s more is that they would have given Mueller a blank check for extra resources if they thought Mueller had been within reach of achieving their goals. Thirty or forty million dollars would have been a small price to pay for the undoing of the 2016 Presidential Election.
    Please forgive me but I am going to have to break out an ensemble of mournful violinists as I listen to these people feigning concern about unwarranted spending.


  7. I think it would help if there was a much broader consensus on some common values.
    I saw a speech by Jon Meacham where this concern was raised in the question and answer session at the end.
    He said he believed it would take a crisis to refocus the public. Something on the scale of a real war or real natural catastrophe of overwhelming proportions.
    Anything less just becomes more ground to disagree over.


  8. Well, I am a firm Trump critic, but I don’t like the Fourth event being taken over by counter-demonstrations either. I realize some of that was made inevitable once Trump injected himself into the middle of the traditional celebration (All eyes need to be on me! ME, ME, ME!!!), but I find all of this extraordinarily discouraging. Everything is politicized, everything is a battlefield. Is there nothing that draws us together anymore? Does EVERYTHING have to be coopted to make a political statement or score political points?

    The politicians and their media outlets and their grassroots organizations (including the church — sometimes PARTICULARLY including the church) have wildly succeeded in making *everything* about US versus THEM in a winner-take-all zero-sum game. I for one am utterly sick of this whole game (and as a (barely hanging onto the term) evangelical, I am particularly sick that many of my own “tribe” are some of the most willing and enthusiastic and aggressive participants in this game).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. At least a permit has been issued to float a “baby Trump” balloon.
    Hopefully within view.


  10. I have real concerns that this “American celebration” is going to turn into chants of “Lock her up,” “Four more years,” and booing the “fake news media” covering the event. The fact that tickets are being distributed to big GOP donors and the RNC is not a good indicator that the attendees are going to be anything like a cross-section of America. How is this not simply a taxpayer-funded campaign event?


  11. Jeff,
    You are correct that the speech should not be specifically partisan nor focused on anyone’s 2020 campaign. I expect it will be similar in tone to the speech he recently gave at Normandy to mark the D-Day landings. He had a good writer for that one.


  12. I would like it if the president utters as much as a phrase that smacks of his campaign rally material to see the entire cost for the mall event transferred to his campaign. Everything from the fly overs to fireworks, tanks to clean-up.


  13. I imagine standing at attention and various other duties standing in the hot Washington sun will be tough.
    I was in DC this weekend. It was hot. I was by Grant’s monument just in front of the Capitol building at one point and can’t imagine doing it for hours with thousands of people around.


  14. John,
    I don’t care about the diversion of Interior Department funds. The government budget and accounting folks have done this sort of thing since the time of George Washington. My concern is that a bunch of young G.I.s will not be able to take the day off but will have to “suit up” and work on a holiday. When I was in the army, I hated to be in a parade or ceremony. It’s bad enough doing it on a normal duty day but to have to come it on a holiday is no fun at all. I hope their unit commanders give them compensatory time off next week.


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