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Bush-era ethics lawyer: Putin should send soldiers to march in Trump's military parade

Bush-era ethics lawyer: Putin should send soldiers to march in Trump's military parade

Richard Painter, the former top ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, is mocking President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE’s proposed military parade, tweeting Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be invited to send a delegation.

“As a key campaign backer, Putin should be invited to send a platoon of soldiers to march in the parade,” Painter tweeted.

Painter, a vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is one of a growing number of lawmakers, former administration officials and other figures weighing in against Trump’s proposed parade. His Putin comment refers to Moscow's 2016 election meddling, which the intelligence community believes was carried out with the intention of helping to elect Trump.

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The Pentagon and White House on Wednesday confirmed reports that planning for a parade in Washington, D.C., is underway, after The Washington Post reported a day earlier that Trump had given “marching orders” to Pentagon officials to plan the event.

Trump has brought up the prospect of a military parade several times during his presidency, and reportedly told officials he wants a celebration “like the one in France,” referring to the Bastille Day parade in Paris he witnessed last year.

Critics, both Democrats and Republican, have said that a parade would be unnecessary, could send the wrong message and appear “totalitarian.”

GOP Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) said Wednesday that America does not need to “show off” its military power because “everybody knows we have it.”

“We’re not North Korea, we’re not Russia and we're not China, and I don’t want to be,” Kennedy said.

Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug Senate Dem: Trump's 'fake, hyperbolic rantings' an insult to real Medal of Honor recipients MORE (D-Ill.), who earned a Purple Heart for her service in Iraq, said troops overseas don't need "a show of bravado" as much as strong support at home. 

"This parade would not only waste millions of taxpayer dollars, it would also cost our military precious time and resources," Duckworth said in a statement.