President Trump called for a massive military parade in Washington, D.C., which resulted in a considerable backlash on Wednesday, despite the military stance of going ahead with the idea.
The White House confirmed on Tuesday night that Trump had requested the Pentagon to begin planning for the upcoming military parade. The report was initially extracted from the Washington Post.
James Mattis who is the Defense Secretary stated that the officials are working on multiple options which they can present to the president.
James Mattis told reporters, “I think we’re all aware in this country of the president’s affection and respect for the military. We’ve been putting together some options. We’ll send them up to the White House for decision.”
Mattis dodged the question when the reporters asked about the overall costing of the parade. Majority of the time of the briefing was spent on making the case for stable defense funding. Mattis said, “I think what my responsibility is to make certain I lay out the strategy and make the argument for the oversight of Congress to make the determination of fully funding us. As far as the parade goes, again, the president’s respect, his fondness for the military, I think is reflected in him asking for these options.”
President Trump has been longing for a military display to showcase the power of the armed forces in the capital. As per the reports, Trump had plans to include missile launchers and tanks in his inauguration parade this year. In addition, the POTUS is considering the military parade to take place on the Fourth of July.
The Washington Post reported that Trump has passed on his requests to the Pentagon who will now plan for during a Jan. 18 meeting with Pentagon brass. The meeting will also include Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford who is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
When asked about the military parade, Dunford only confirmed the approval of the request from the President.
“I’m aware of the president’s request, and we are in the initial planning stages to meet the president’s direction,” Dunford said, according to reporters traveling with him in Bangkok.
The Pentagon further issued a statement that the Army will take the lead on planning the parade.
The Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said in a statement, “We are aware of the request and are in the process of determining specific details. As you can expect, this is a complex event and there are many variables that go into the planning and execution of a parade.”
“DOD will provide options for the president and send them to the White House for review,” he continued.