Trump calls for military parade to take place on Veterans Day: report

Trump calls for military parade to take place on Veterans Day: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFamily immigration detention centers could be at capacity within days: report Trump likely to meet with Putin in July: report DOJ requests military lawyers to help prosecute immigration crimes: report MORE has reportedly directed the Pentagon to plan his proposed military parade to travel from the White House to the Capitol on Nov. 11, Veterans Day. 

National security adviser H.R. McMaster gave the president's instructions in an unclassified memo to the Department of Defense, according to a senior administration official who summarized the memo to Politico.

In the memo, dated Tuesday, McMaster conveys Trump's desire for Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump orders Pentagon to help house immigrant families | Mattis says 'space force' needs legislation | VA pick gets hearing date Mattis 'not aware' of North Korea taking any steps to denuclearize Mattis: Legislation needed to create 'space force' MORE to brief Trump on "concepts of operation" for the parade.

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The president has repeatedly voiced support for grand military demonstration, particularly since visiting Paris for last year's Bastille Day celebrations, which included a military parade down the Champs-Élysées. 

A number of logistical hurdles have emerged during the early planning process for such an event. Pentagon officials have reportedly been concerned about cost, the transportation of troops and materiel and if it is feasible to have tanks on D.C. streets without causing considerable damage. 

White House budget director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Mulvaney defends family separations at border Consumer watchdog agency needs to get back to doing its job MORE told lawmakers last week that the event could cost between $10 million and $30 million.

Lawmakers, particularly Democrats, have also expressed opposition to the optics of the parade. Many raised concerns that a military display could provoke North Korea or make the United States appear boastful and insecure. 

Even some Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump says he will sign executive order to end family separations Trump backs narrow bill halting family separations: official Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (R-S.C.), said that a military parade could send the wrong message. 

“I don’t mind having a parade honoring the service and sacrifice of our military members,” Graham said. “I’m not looking for a Soviet-style hardware display. That’s not who we are, it’s kind of cheesy and I think it shows weakness, quite frankly.”

Many lawmakers have urged Trump to instead direct funds to supporting mental health services for veterans, rather than a parade. 

A poll released Tuesday found that a majority of Americans, 61 percent, disapprove of the idea of a military parade, compared to only 26 percent who support it. Three-quarters of respondents said the parade would not be a good use of government funds.