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 TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction 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 MattisTrump learns to love acting officials Shanahan says he's 'never favored' Boeing as acting Defense chief Trump moves to install loyalists 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 MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday Trump ditches one-on-one meetings with vice president: report 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 GrahamJudiciary chairman issues subpoena for full Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Barr to allow some lawmakers to review less-redacted Mueller report as soon as next week 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.