White House budget director Mick Mulvaney on Sunday appeared to contradict President Donald Trump’s claim this week that the exorbitant cost of his coveted military parade led to its cancellation.
“If the parade had been canceled purely for fiscal reasons, I imagine I would have been in the room when that decision was made, and I wasn’t,” Mulvaney told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “So my guess is there were other contributing factors.”
Trump announced the parade’s cancellation in a tweet blaming “local [Washington, D.C.] politicians” who he said demanded a “ridiculously high” sum from the federal government to hold the parade in the capital.
The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it. When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it. Never let someone hold you up! I will instead…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2018
But D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said after Trump’s cancellation that the city’s tab for the parade would be $21.6 million, much lower than the $92 million cited in a CNBC report prior to the parade’s cancellation, which the network said would be split between the Pentagon ($50 million) and the Department of Homeland Security and other “interagency partners” ($42 million).
“I like the mayor, she seems like a nice lady, but face it, this is a city that voted probably, I don’t know, 70 or 80 percent against the President,” Mulvaney said. “So to think that maybe the city council of Washington, D.C. is not trying to help the President accomplish what he wants to accomplish shouldn’t be news to anybody.”
He said the numbers he saw “from the city” were “much higher” than the “20 million” that Wallace cited.
CNN reported in July, citing three unnamed defense officials, that the parade would cost $12 million.
And Mulvaney himself told Congress in February that the parade could cost between $10 million and $30 million.
H/t Political Wire