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Trump's July Fourth fireworks show caused more than $42,000 in damage, records show

The RNC has since reimbursed the federal government, according to forms published by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Image: RNC fireworks
Fireworks light up Washington after President Donald Trump delivered his acceptance speech at the White House to end the Republican National Convention last Aug. 27.Andrew Harnik / AP file

WASHINGTON — The July Fourth fireworks show hosted by the Republican National Committee in Washington last summer caused $42,150 worth of damage, according to records obtained by the Democratic organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

CREW published four pages of documents Wednesday, including a letter the Department of Interior sent the RNC in February detailing the damage caused to the National Mall.

The letter said damage was done to turf near the sidewalks by a forklift operator “who drove at a high rate of speed" and to turf from the setup of fireworks and “scorch marks from the fireworks.” It said that a dumpster also “struck” a water fountain, and that "extensive compaction damage" was caused by "improper setup and security/setup/takedown vehicles driving throughout the turf."

Photos included in the documents showed the damage done to the grass and water fountain.

The RNC has since reimbursed the federal government, according to documents filed with the Interior Department and published by CREW.

The records were obtained by CREW as part of a lawsuit “to reveal the full cost to taxpayers of Trump’s rampant use of Interior resources for self-aggrandizement,” the organization said on its website.

CREW said it previously reported that employees for the National Park Service worked nearly 4,000 hours on the fireworks show, costing $177,000, which CREW said the RNC reimbursed as well.

The fireworks show was pushed by then-President Donald Trump even though D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser canceled related events, such as the annual Fourth of July parade, because of the pandemic.

In 2019, Trump’s military-style July Fourth parade in D.C. drained a special city fund designed to help finance extra security and anti-terrorism measures during large events.