Trump’s Salute to America touts military might, Rep. Amash exits GOP, D.C....

Trump’s Salute to America touts military might, Rep. Amash exits GOP, D.C. invoices feds for road damage

July 4th fireworks, 2019, Washington, D.C. photo by Carol Highsmith
July 4th fireworks explode over Washington on Thursday. (Photo by Carol Highsmith)

(Audio excerpt Trump July 4th speech)

On the Hill with Doug Christian

CAPITOL HILL – That was part of President Donald Trump’s controversial salute to America’s military might on July 4th. With the Lincoln Memorial set as the rain-blanketed backdrop, Trump, flanked by acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph F. Dunford Jr., and with military vehicles parked on the mall, gave an anodyne address touting our armed forces, calling for unity, and abandoning divisiveness that often punctuates his speeches.

Critics say that Trump politicized a nonpartisan celebration and blurred the lines between politics and the military with an event more in keeping with Russian, North Korean and Chinese celebrations than celebrating in the spirit of American democracy.

Democratic presidential candidate, South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, quipped that “Reducing our nation to tanks and shows of muscle, just makes us look like the loudmouth guy at the bar instead of the extremely diverse and energetic nation that we are.”

In other Independence Day news, Representative Justin Amash from Michigan declared he is leaving the Republican party after calling for Trump’s impeachment. In a Washington Post op-ed, Amash wrote, “Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us.”

Trump responded with a tweet:

Looking forward, the District of Columbia is set to invoice the federal government for any damage incurred by 60-ton tanks on the district’s roads during the celebration.

Doug Christian, Capitol Hill

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