“If the parade had been canceled for purely fiscal reasons, I imagine I would have been in the room when that decision was made and I wasn’t, so my guess is there were other contributing factors,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Trump raged against Washington city leaders on Friday after the Department of Defense announced a day earlier that his military parade, originally scheduled for Veterans Day in November, had been indefinitely postponed. The decision followed a CNBC report Thursday that the parade would cost $92 million ― $80 million more than the Pentagon’s initial estimate.
“The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN.”
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser quickly fired back at Trump, tweeting that she “finally got thru to the reality star in the White House with the realities” of the costs of staging such a large-scale parade in the nation’s capital.
But Mulvaney on Sunday hinted there was more than money at play in the decision to scrap the event.
“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,” he 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.”
Mulvaney underestimated how badly Trump lost the District of Columbia in the 2016 election ― Hillary Clinton carried it with about 91 percent of the vote.
Representatives for the White House and Washington’s city council did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump expressed his desire to have a military parade after watching one celebrating France’s Bastille Day while visiting Paris in July 2017. The Pentagon in February confirmed that planning for one was proceeding.
Trump tweeted Friday that he will now attend an Armistice Day parade in Paris in November since his parade has been canceled.