The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over the Lincoln Memorial at President Trump's Fourth of July event in 2019. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump's Fourth of July "Salute to America" event last year cost over $13 million, according to an estimate released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent agency watchdog.

Why it matters: Estimated costs for Independence Day events on the National Mall in 2016, 2017 and 2018 ranged between $6 million to $7 million, per GAO.

Catch up quick: GAO partially attributes the price tag to the Defense Department transporting battle tanks and fighter jets to the National Mall for the ceremony, as well as extra security made available for the president to attend in-person.

What they're saying: White House spokesperson Judd Deere told AP's Ellen Knickmeyer that the Fourth of July celebration "is not about politics," in response to congressional Democrats' criticisms of how much the holiday cost taxpayers.

  • “It’s about all Americans coming together to celebrate Independence Day, our great armed forces and their heroic sacrifices, which have preserved our freedoms for generations, and our amazing heritage,” Deere told AP.

Go deeper: Trump plans military flyover at Mount Rushmore on July 3 (Politico)

Go deeper

Exclusive: Trump campaign seeks early September presidential debate

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Image

The Trump campaign is asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to move up the last presidential debate to the first week in September to get ahead of an expected surge in early voting.

Driving the news: President Trump's personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, made the request in a letter dated Wednesday and obtained by Axios.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

N.Y., N.J. and Conn. to require travelers from 35 states to quarantine

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Travelers from 35 states are now required to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, per New York state's health department.

What's new: New York City will set up bridge and tunnel checkpoints to enforce the quarantine order, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, per the Wall Street Journal.

When U.S. politicians exploit foreign disinformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. political actors will keep weaponizing the impact of widespread foreign disinformation campaigns on American elections, making these operations that much more effective and attractive to Russia, China, Iran or other countries backing them.

Why it matters: Hostile powers’ disinformation campaigns aim to destabilize the U.S., and each time a domestic politician embraces them, it demonstrates that they work.