The Latest: Protesters show off diapered baby Trump balloon

National News

Protesters move a Baby Trump balloon into position before Independence Day celebrations, Thursday, July 4, 2019, on the National Mall in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Independence Day in Washington (all times local)

12:30 p.m.
An anti-war organization has put up a 20-foot-tall (6-meter-tall) diaper-clad balloon of an infant Donald Trump in the shadow of the Washington Monument to protest what it calls the president’s co-opting of Independence Day.

Code Pink co-director Medea Benjamin says the organization and its members “oppose the politicization of July Fourth by President Trump.”

Trump has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations, including a flyover of jets, helicopters, and other aircraft. Trump says he’ll “speak on behalf of our great Country” at his “Salute to America” event.

Code Pink says the Republican president’s event is “a campaign rally.” It says the balloon is “a great symbol” because he is “a big baby” and is “prone to tantrums.”

Trump supporter Kevin Malton, of Middlesboro, Kentucky, took pictures with the balloon. He says he’s glad to see the mix of political beliefs at the event.


11:50 a.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for parts of the nation’s capital and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs hours before the Independence Day celebration on the National Mall is set to begin.

The watch is active until 8 p.m., which would stretch into the evening when President Donald Trump plans to speak from the Lincoln Memorial. Military flyovers also are on the schedule.

The Weather Service says storms are expected to develop early afternoon and there may be torrential rains. It says there’s a chance of flash flooding.

Trump has promised his “Salute to America” will be the “show of a lifetime” for revelers who flock to the National Mall. Critics call Trump’s event a waste of money.


10:50 a.m.
President Donald Trump is marking the 243rd anniversary of the Founding Fathers’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence, an event he says “cast off the shackles of tyranny.”

Trump says in an Independence Day message released by the White House that the country is celebrating the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and recognizing the “courageous” members of the armed services who “have valiantly defended them.”

The Republican president says freedom rings “proudly throughout the United States and around the world because of the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans and military members.”

Trump is set to speak in the evening at the Lincoln Memorial. He has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations, including a flyover of jets, helicopters, and other aircraft.

Trump says his “Salute to America” will be the “show of a lifetime.”


10:30 a.m.
One of President Donald Trump’s Democratic rivals says he thinks it’s “ego” that’s motivating Trump’s Fourth of July event in the nation’s capital.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) says Trump’s “Salute to America” is “a show of insecurity.” Trump says the event will feature a speech and a display of military might.

Buttigieg is a Navy Reserve veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2014. He told a crowd in Sioux City, Iowa, on Wednesday night that “this business of diverting money and military assets to use them as a kind of prop, to prop up a presidential ego, is not reflecting well on our country.”

Trump has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations including a flyover of jets, helicopters, and other aircraft. He says it’ll be the “show of a lifetime.”


8:45 a.m.
President Donald Trump says he’ll “speak on behalf of our great Country” at his “Salute to America” Independence Day event in the nation’s capital.

Trump is set to give remarks in the evening at the Lincoln Memorial. He has ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations, including a flyover of jets, helicopters, and other aircraft.

Trump says there will be “large scale flyovers of the most modern … and advanced aircraft anywhere in the World.”

Critics call Trump’s event a divisive intrusion on a traditionally unifying national holiday and say it’s a waste of money. Trump tweeted Wednesday the cost “will be very little compared to what it is worth.”


12:15 a.m.
Washington is celebrating Independence Day — with a Trump twist.

There’s the traditional July Fourth parade in the District of Columbia and the annual concert at the Capitol, plus fireworks over the National Mall. What’s new this year is that President Donald Trump is hosting an hourlong event in the early evening that he’s calling “Salute to America.”

Trump is set to speak at the Lincoln Memorial, and he’s ordered the Pentagon to stage military demonstrations including a flyover of jets, helicopters, and other aircraft. He says it’ll be the “show of a lifetime.”

Trump’s activities at the Lincoln Memorial are free, but they’re not free of criticism. Some worry he will turn the program into a political event to boost his administration and his bid for reelection.

White House officials say Trump’s remarks will be patriotic.

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