President Donald Trump’s plans for his July 4 celebration on the National Mall are sounding more extravagant and unreasonable by the day. On Monday, the Washington Post reported Trump was again demanding military tanks roll through the streets of DC despite officials warning of the risk for the city’s infrastructure. Today, HuffPost reported Trump has allowed the Republican National Committee to hijack the historically non-political event, with the organization offering VIP tickets to major donors.
Presidents typically don’t involve themselves in Fourth of July celebrations, but atypical is typical for Trump. Whereas previous celebrations just ticketed the “west portico of the Capitol overlooking the Mall and a stage for musical performers,” according to HuffPost—and tickets were given out by Republican and Democratic members of Congress—this year an area of dozens of acres, one that could normally accommodate tens of thousands, will be sectioned off and regulated by Secret Service.
It’s unclear how many tickets are being distributed and by which groups, but a Democratic National Committee spokesperson told the site they weren’t given any tickets to hand out, and the RNC says their ticket distribution will be akin to other presidential events such as open houses and garden tours.
The RNC, Trump appointees, and federal agencies however, have reportedly offered tickets to major donors, with one RNC fundraiser joking to the publication: “He’s going to have tanks out there. It’s going to be cool.”
The fundraiser also said he was offered free tickets but hadn’t requested them.
“He wants to have a parade like they have in Moscow or China or North Korea,” the fundraiser continued.
Despite the Fourth of July event already having the appearance of a Trump campaign rally, a senior White House official told HuffPost that Trump’s speech won’t be partisan, which, LOL OK, sure thing.
“This speech will not be political. It will be about celebrating our nation’s independence, our flag, and our great military,” the official said.
Of course, everyone knows this is bullshit, Trump’s staff included. A White House aide told the publication they can’t do much if Trump’s septuagenarian brain veers into his campaign talking points.
“We can only do what we can do,” the aide told HuffPost.
Braver words have rarely been spoken. Here’s hoping Trump doesn’t try to light a firework out of the palm of his hand.