Trump’s lavish Independence Day stunt cost the Parks Department $2.5 million ​

Alex Brandon/AP

While the national parks heave under the weight of a $12 billion maintenance backlog, President Trump diverted $2.5 million from the National Parks Service budget to fund an extravagant Fourth of July rally. We can’t say we’re surprised: Trump has proposed drastic cuts to the department’s budget in the past, which thankfully went unapproved by Congress. But multiple parks are still reeling from the winter government shutdown, in which vandals damaged sensitive ecosystems and artifacts while parks were left unattended. We bet $2.5 million could’ve sped up their recovery. 

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