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Washington - Confusion Abounds As Trump's July 4 Plans Remain A Mystery

Published on: June 12, 2019 12:30 PM
By: AP
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FILE - In this July 4, 2018, file photo, fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol, along the National Mall in Washington, during the Fourth of July celebration. APFILE - In this July 4, 2018, file photo, fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol, along the National Mall in Washington, during the Fourth of July celebration. AP

Washington - With just over three weeks to go, exactly what’s going to happen in Washington on the Fourth of July remains a subject of intense confusion.

Will the nation’s premier Independence Day celebration be centered around the Washington Monument or shift to the Lincoln Memorial, as the White House has reportedly requested? Will President Donald Trump follow through on his plans to give a speech? And, if he does, will the speech be open to anyone, including protesters, or will the White House restrict his audience to supporters at the traditionally nonpolitical event?

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The White House hasn’t revealed its plans. The National Park Service, which is primarily responsible for the event, has also gone silent. That leaves the city government, which helps with security, in the dark.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s representative in Congress, said interdepartmental planning meetings for July 4 usually begin up to three months in advance. But to her knowledge, none of those meetings has happened.

“The city is scrambling to figure out what to do, because all they have is the outline of what (the White House) wants,” Norton said. She said she approached the Park Service for details but: “They wouldn’t tell us a thing. You know why? Because they don’t know a thing.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser declined repeated requests for comment.

Independence Day normally draws tens of thousands of people to the National Mall for a celebration capped by fireworks. A major security overhaul was implemented following the Sept. 11 attacks, but the occasion has run smoothly for years.

The first sign that 2019’s celebration may be a little different came in a February tweet from Trump announcing a special “Salute to America” on July 4 that would feature “an address by your favorite President, me!”

Last week, a National Park Service official was quoted in The Washington Post saying the White House was planning a Trump speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the event.

But since that report, the White House and the National Park Service have refused to comment. Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst released a terse statement saying only that “We continue to work with the White House on creating a Salute to America program that will bring Americans from all over the country together in celebration of our great nation.”

Norton is predicting a security nightmare, with a new location and format being instituted on short notice and the president’s movements and security requirements causing chaos.

“This will be all sorts of headaches for security,” she said.

The confusion extends to D.C. activists , who are uncertain about how to respond to a July 4 Trump speech. Some see a golden opportunity to disrupt Trump in a way he’s not used to; others fear a trap.

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the Code Pink movement, had planned to be in Havana on July 4 to protest the Trump administration’s new restrictions on travel to Cuba. But she changed those plans last week, and her group is now organizing a protest.

“It’s not that often that President Trump appears in a public venue in front of a crowd that’s not guaranteed to be friendly,” she said. “It’s going to be really hard for them to control. We’ll see what kind of trouble we can get into.”

Others fear that an attempt to directly confront Trump or disrupt the event could backfire.

Nadine Bloch, a local organizer with a decadeslong history of protest, said a speech would provide leftist activists an opportunity to appear before TV cameras and get a large audience for their messages. But she said there’s a risk that protesters could overplay their hand and end up being blamed for ruining the Fourth of July.

“It’s a delicate balance,” she said. “You could end up just making more enemies.”

Adam Eidinger, a prominent local activist, predicted that attempts to disrupt the speech will be easily suppressed, with security concerns as a justification.

“I fully expect the president to create a VIP section right up front where only his supporters are allowed in,” he said. “Any protesters will be reduced to a couple people shouting in the distance.”

Eidinger said he’s leaning toward sitting out this event.

“I think it’s a trap to get the opposition to come out and mess up July Fourth,” he said.



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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 12, 2019 at 01:11 PM Anonymous Says:

trump's confusion - perfect expression for that nincompoop. watch him wave his paper on 'peace in our time' with mexico yesterday?

he knows how to rread a speech perfectly, like state of the union, written by others. on his own? a total disaster for the future of the u.s. of a.

2

 Jun 12, 2019 at 02:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Delusional Donny's plans for the July 4th celebration of Trump are on a folded paper in jacket pocket next to the love letter from Kim Jong. The Korean leader and Vlad Putin have been invited to the Trump celebration. Delusional Donny will show them a bigger event than either of them have ever hosted. Of course the official Trump network will interrupt Faux and Friends an all other programming to carry the historic event live while redacting or covering with tarps the demonstrators and images Trump finds offensive
Meanwhile factories in China and Vietnam are working double 15 hour shifts producing the Trump hats, tee shirts, and other campaign items that are to be sold at the Trumpfest to raise money for Trump himself. He must make use of his Office to recoup some of the money lost due to the boycotts of Trump hotels.
Protesters are planning of inundating DC with both baby Trump balloons and photos of the man most detested by Draft Dodger Donald, John McCain.

3

 Jun 12, 2019 at 03:21 PM BennyFranklin Says:

For decades July 4th has been a non-partisan celebration of America. Only this year we're celebrating the cult of a dictator at what will be another trump Nurenburg rally. About him, not about America. So saaad.

4

 Jun 12, 2019 at 04:51 PM yaakov doe Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Delusional Donny's plans for the July 4th celebration of Trump are on a folded paper in jacket pocket next to the love letter from Kim Jong. The Korean leader and Vlad Putin have been invited to the Trump celebration. Delusional Donny will show them a bigger event than either of them have ever hosted. Of course the official Trump network will interrupt Faux and Friends an all other programming to carry the historic event live while redacting or covering with tarps the demonstrators and images Trump finds offensive
Meanwhile factories in China and Vietnam are working double 15 hour shifts producing the Trump hats, tee shirts, and other campaign items that are to be sold at the Trumpfest to raise money for Trump himself. He must make use of his Office to recoup some of the money lost due to the boycotts of Trump hotels.
Protesters are planning of inundating DC with both baby Trump balloons and photos of the man most detested by Draft Dodger Donald, John McCain.

You must have inside information. A mole in the White House, or you follow Trump's tweets?

5

 Jun 12, 2019 at 08:23 PM dooalldel Says:

U liberals are sick and getting sicker ,
Grow up

6

 Jun 12, 2019 at 09:28 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

trump's confusion - perfect expression for that nincompoop. watch him wave his paper on 'peace in our time' with mexico yesterday?

he knows how to rread a speech perfectly, like state of the union, written by others. on his own? a total disaster for the future of the u.s. of a.

Wrong Trump is a total hope for our future. He has already changed the game on so many issues.
Mexico cracked down on migrants thanks to him. Sure you can sell me buba masses how it wasn't trump and it's all a show. Let me be clear that's a lie yes you are lying. Facts are simple Trump got tough on Mexico and they deployed national Guards to stop them . Yes they did do that last week. Stop making up stories
Next who detested isis? Tell me that one!
Next who cut taxes on middle class including nyers with young families? Yes the only losers were folks in ny with no kids under 18. But 85% of all people gained. Those are facts. Numbers don't lie only you lie.
Next who got Canada to cave in on steel?
Who moved the embassy and showed those Palestinians who are the true liars and fakers

Need I list more accomplishments. Your super hyper comments are shallow

6

 Jun 12, 2019 at 10:14 PM dooalldel Says:

U liberals are sick and getting sicker ,
Grow up

7

 Jun 13, 2019 at 02:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Educated Archy Says:

Wrong Trump is a total hope for our future. He has already changed the game on so many issues.
Mexico cracked down on migrants thanks to him. Sure you can sell me buba masses how it wasn't trump and it's all a show. Let me be clear that's a lie yes you are lying. Facts are simple Trump got tough on Mexico and they deployed national Guards to stop them . Yes they did do that last week. Stop making up stories
Next who detested isis? Tell me that one!
Next who cut taxes on middle class including nyers with young families? Yes the only losers were folks in ny with no kids under 18. But 85% of all people gained. Those are facts. Numbers don't lie only you lie.
Next who got Canada to cave in on steel?
Who moved the embassy and showed those Palestinians who are the true liars and fakers

Need I list more accomplishments. Your super hyper comments are shallow

trump has cracked down on mexico? are you for real? last month, 100,000 illegal immigrants tried to enter our country. this month won't be any different, but when the statistics come out, you'll have a convenient answer ready.
puh-leeze !
trump waves a piece of paper - this didn't remind you have Bevin's 'peace In our time' waving?
puh-leeze !
I could go on, but why bother. impeach him now !

8

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