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South Bend, Indiana, Mayor and Navy veteran Pete Buttigieg. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidates criticized President Trump for his Fourth of July extravaganza plans, with Pete Buttigieg telling CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead" Wednesday the event "makes America look smaller."

"One of the reasons I joined the military was that in a small way I wanted to be part of seeing to it that my country was not the kind of place where a leader feels the need to boost his own ego by rolling tanks down the streets of our capital."

The big picture: Fellow 2020 presidential candidate and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) told ABC News, "This whole event is a monument to his insecurity."

"I think it's very unfortunate that a nation that prides itself on democracy and unifying messages has to be exposed to his insecurity that he's trying to cover up with tanks, and it just doesn't work."

The other side: President Trump says he's honoring U.S. forces with his "Salute to America" celebration.

Go deeper:

This article has been updated with more details, including Inslee's comments.

Go deeper

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sydney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.