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GAO: Trump's Independence Day gala in 2019 cost $13M

GAO: Trump's Independence Day gala in 2019 cost $13M
Posted at 3:35 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 17:35:44-04

Government watchdogs say President Trump’s Fourth of July gala in the nation’s capital last year cost taxpayers more than $13 million, twice as much as previous celebrations.

Each year, the nation's capital hosts Independence Day celebrations; a parade, concert, fireworks and, in 2019, "A Salute to America." Trump’s desire to have Department of Defense military vehicles participate last year helped drive up the cost, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The president’s attendance also increased expenses.

The report says that some other costs, such as for military flyovers of the National Mall, aren't included in the estimate.

Trump’s military-focused Independence Day event went beyond the traditional concert and fireworks of years past. The GAO estimated that holiday celebrations from 2016 to 2018 cost from $6 million to $7 million annually.