Trump: Rolling Thunder returning to DC next year
President Trump said in a tweet early Sunday that the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally will return to Washington, D.C. next year, following news that the veterans' advocacy group had encountered trouble obtaining permits for the event.
“The Great Patriots of Rolling Thunder WILL be coming back to Washington, D.C. next year, & hopefully for many years to come,” Trump tweeted.
“It is where they want to be, & where they should be. Have a wonderful time today, he added. “Thank you to our great men & women of the Pentagon for working it out!”
ABC News reported Friday that one of the annual Memorial Day weekend ride's founders said this year's event would likely be the last. Former Army Sgt. Artie Muller cited increasing costs surrounding the trip and frequent alleged harassment from law enforcement.
A spokeswoman for the Pentagon pushed back on assertions that the Department of Defense had been involved in the group's supposed conflicts with law enforcement, stating that it supported groups exercising their First Amendment rights.
"The department supports the peaceful, lawful exercise of American citizens' First Amendment rights, and remains focused on ensuring the safety and security of the demonstrators and the Pentagon Reservation," the spokeswoman, Sue Gough, told the network. "The department is prepared to support the 2019 Rolling Thunder ride, as we have for the last 31 years."
Trump tweeted on Saturday that he would be happy to help the group obtain permits and praised the bikers for their patriotism.
"Can’t believe that Rolling Thunder would be given a hard time with permits in Washington, D.C. They are great Patriots who I have gotten to know and see in action. They love our Country and love our Flag. If I can help, I will!" he wrote.
I can't see most cops interfering with Rolling Thunder, it is a vet heavy occupation. However, permits, insurance, required assistance from law enforcement (i.e. escorts) are necessary evils for a great cause.
Hopefully this will be settled soon, and more Americans can make Rolling Thunder 2020.