The Slatest

Trump Really Seems Determined to Turn July 4th Into Political Rally

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Florida International University on February 18, 2019 in Miami, Florida.
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Florida International University on February 18, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump had an announcement Sunday morning. His administration will be hosting “one of the biggest gatherings” in the history of the nation’s capital to celebrate the Fourth of July. “HOLD THE DATE!” Trump wrote in a tweet. “It will be called ‘A Salute To America’ and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!”

This was not the first time the president had floated the idea of turning Independence Day into a partisan affair. Earlier this month, Trump mentioned it during a Cabinet meeting. “We’re thinking about doing, on the 4th of July or thereabouts, a parade, a ‘Salute to America’ parade. I guess it’d be really more of a gathering than a parade. Perhaps at the Lincoln Memorial. We’re looking at sites. But we’re thinking about doing something that would, perhaps, become a tradition,” Trump said.

In both instances, Trump was roundly mocked as many were quick to note that Washington already has annual fireworks display to celebrate Independence Day. Sunday was no exception as many on Twitter made fun of the president for acting like he had come up with the idea of holding a big event in Washington, D.C. on July 4.

But just like when he first talked about it a few weeks ago, several questions remained unanswered, including whether this would run in parallel to Washington’s annually televised concert and fireworks near the Capitol. And regardless of the easy jokes, by vowing a speech “by your favorite President,” Trump sure sounds like he wants to turn the Independence Day celebration into one of his typical rallies. The president has previously said he wanted to hold a military parade in the capital but later threw out the idea after he received pushback from local officials.