U.S. President Donald Trump will preside over July Fourth Independence Day celebrations on Thursday with a speech about patriotism and a show of military might that critics say is politicizing an important holiday and wasting taxpayer money.
Trump, a Republican who admired flashy displays of national pride and military strength put on by France, has dismissed concerns about the expense and militaristic overtones of the Washington event, which will take place in front of the Lincoln Memorial and feature fireworks, a flyover by Air Force One and a display of tanks.
Democrats charge the president with staging a campaign rally. Though the White House has said his remarks would not be political in nature, the president has a history of veering off script with sharp partisan attacks even at events that are not meant to be overtly political.
“We’re going to have a great Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. It’ll be like no other,” Trump told reporters earlier this week in the Oval Office….