WASHINGTON — Just when it looked like President Trump had been outmaneuvered on his order for a parade in the capital, he struck up the drumbeat again.
This time, the commander in chief suggested on Tuesday, might the Fourth of July be more conducive for a celebratory march?
After being stymied last year on his proposal for a military parade like one he saw while visiting Paris, Mr. Trump has now turned to the Interior Department to give him what the Pentagon would not. He even has a name for it.
“A ‘Salute to America’ parade,” the president said at a meeting of his cabinet at the White House. He called it more of “a gathering, as opposed to a parade, I guess you’d have to say.”
Jim Mattis, the former defense secretary, famously objected to having the American military march in lock step down Constitution Avenue, flanked by tanks and fighter planes. So Mr. Trump is enlisting David Bernhardt, the acting secretary of the interior, whose department oversees the National Park Services.
“Perhaps at the Lincoln Memorial,” Mr. Trump mused of a location of a celebration.
“David, you’re taking care of that, and we’ll see how it works out with schedules and everything else,” the president said.
Pentagon officials were quick to direct inquiries about the new parade to the Interior Department, where officials could not be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon.
A Defense Department cost estimate last year for a Veterans Day parade came to $92 million, sending the White House into sticker shock and prompting Mr. Trump to fold on his order. In August, he blamed local government officials in Washington for inflating the price of the parade “so ridiculously high that I canceled it.”
“Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN,” Mr. Trump wrote at the time on Twitter. “Now we can buy some more jet fighters!”
This time around, Mr. Trump said he has already found some savings — the fireworks. “We get free fireworks because it’s already being done,” the president said.
Last July 4, the National Park Service paid $270,000 for 18 minutes of fireworks. Whether that savings makes a big dent in the expected cost of a parade will depend on just what kind of parade this turns out to be.
It was unclear whether an Independence Day parade would include the tanks, fighter planes and troops that have so enamored Mr. Trump. The committee that planned his inaugural ceremony reportedly explored, but rejected, using military equipment in the traditional parade to the White House from the Capitol after Mr. Trump was sworn in.
After watching a Bastille Day parade on the Champs-Élysées with President Emmanuel Macron of France in 2017, Mr. Trump later told reporters that “it was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen.”
On the way home, he told Mr. Mattis he wanted one, too.