Donald Trump Cancels Over-Budget Military Parade, Says He'll Go to France Instead

Less than 24 hours after reports that President Donald Trump's military parade would cost $92 million—$80 million more than first predicted—the president canceled his plans to hold the event and said Friday he would instead attend France's military parade in November.

"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," Trump tweeted. "I will instead attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, & go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th."

Trump also said he might hold his military parade next year when the cost comes "WAY DOWN." In the meantime, he said the government can now buy more fighter jets with the saved money.

Trump is referring to French President Emmanuel Macron's plans to host world leaders in Paris November 11 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ceasefire that led to the end of World War I.

After Trump attended France's Bastille Day military parade in July 2017, he called it "one of the greatest parades I've ever seen. We're going to have to try to top it," he joked to French President Emmanuel Macron months later.

Trump seemed to be keeping his word on a claim he made during a Fox News interview in February that the parade would only take place if done so at a "reasonable cost."

"We'll see if we can do it at a reasonable cost. And if we can't, we won't do it," Trump said. "I think it's great for spirit [and] the military loves the idea."

At the estimated $92 million sticker price, the president's long-desired parade to honor the armed forces by showing off the nation's military strength would have cost so much that it could feed every homeless veteran in America three meals a day for nearly nine months, according to a Newsweek analysis.

A Pentagon spokesman Thursday evening said in a statement they were considering postponing the parade until 2019.

"The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America's military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I," Colonel Rob Manning said. "We originally targeted November 10, 2018, for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019."

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis denied the $92 million price estimated to the Associated Press Thursday evening, saying he had only seen "approximate costs for certain elements," but not a total price estimate, much less one for nearly $100 million.

"We looked at approximate costs for certain elements of it, but those were very premature and they made it very clear when they briefed me that [they'll] get me the costs," Mattis reporters on a flight en route to Bogota, Colombia. "Whoever told you [that estimate] is probably smoking something that's illegal in my state but not in most states."

Similar to France, Russia, North Korea and China, Trump's military showcase was set to host about eight tanks, helicopters, fighter jets, other armored vehicles and troops parading down the streets of Washington, D.C., according to the initial report by CNBC on Thursday.

Donald Trump Cancels Over-Budget Military Parade, Says He'll Go to France Instead | U.S.