‘Heads are spinning’: The White House fears that Trump’s ‘show of a lifetime’ will cost a fortune — and suffer terrible attendance
President Donald Trump always saw himself as larger than life, whether he was building lavish hotels in Atlantic City or hosting the hit reality show “The Apprentice” — and Trump’s garishness will be evident in a Fourth of July 2019 event in Washington, D.C. that will feature military vehicles and a speech by the president himself. The event, billed as “Salute to America,” is being denounced as wildly inappropriate by Trump’s critics — who predict it will become, in effect, a campaign rally. But in a Fourth of July report for Vanity Fair, journalist Alison Durkee stresses that there is another major problem with Trump’s event: the White House fears that the president’s “show of a lifetime” (as Trump has described it) will be poorly attended.
Durkee notes that Dan Eberhart (CEO of Canary, LLC and a Republican donor) told Politico earlier this week, “They started this too late, and everyone has plans already. Everyone will be there in spirit, but in reality, people planned their July Fourth activities weeks ago.”
The Vanity Fair journalist adds that although some senior White House officials and members of Trump’s administration plan to attend his Fourth of July 2019 event, none of the GOP donors Politico contacted this week said they planned to attend.
The White House, according to Durkee, is “reportedly ginning up attendance by allowing staffers to enter a lottery to receive up to ten tickets each — an unusually high number compared with the two to four tickets usually granted for White House events.”
However, Durkee points out that the White House “has not yet gotten desperate enough to open up the ‘nonpolitical’ event to Democrats.”
Like Trump’s inauguration, Durkee stresses, his Fourth of July 2019 event has a huge price tag to go with what will likely be underattendance.
“It wouldn’t be a Trump event without potential ethical violations and an astronomical cost to the American taxpayer,” Durkee reports. “Critics have decried the event’s use of $2.5 million in National Parks Service fees — a mere fraction of the total government funds being spent.”
This week, a White House aide (who agreed to be interviewed on condition of anonymity) told Politico that others at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are fearing Trump’s costly Fourth of July event will be a bust.
The aide told Politico, “They are creating this thing from scratch, and I do not know if anyone knows how it will go off. There are questions about the ticket distribution and who will show up. The weather might be bad. Heads are spinning.”