Pentagon not certain that Trump's military parade will be in Washington

Pentagon not certain that Trump's military parade will be in Washington
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE’s vision of a large-scale military parade might not happen in Washington, D.C., the Pentagon said Thursday.

“We don’t know that it will be in Washington,” Defense Department chief spokeswoman Dana White told reporters Thursday when asked what cities are being considered for the parade’s location. 

“There are options and we will explore those and the president will ultimately decide.”

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The White House confirmed this week that Trump requested the Pentagon begin planning a military parade last month.

Pentagon officials have since stressed that the parade is still in initial planning stages and have given few details as to the cost, make-up and location of such an event, other than noting that the Army will take the lead on planning.

“The president often looks for opportunities to honor and appreciate our service members. ... When we have those options we will provide that to the White House and the president will decide,” White said.

When asked whether there may be other options to honor the military in lieu of a parade, White replied “there are several options that are possible ... but the bottom line is we want to honor our service members. That is the intent.”

White did not answer questions on who would be paying for the parade or if there would be a cap on its expense.

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisNew Defense chief: Our 'priorities remain unchanged' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions Trump urged to quickly fill Pentagon post amid Iran tensions MORE on Wednesday also declined to directly answer when asked about the cost of a parade after he spent much of the briefing making the case for adequate, stable defense funding. 

“I think we’re all aware in this country of the president’s affection and respect for the military,” Mattis told reporters at the White House.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have blasted the idea as frivolous and a waste of Defense dollars at a time when the Pentagon is highlighting readiness issues. 

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryUS officials express optimism negotiations with Iran possible GOP rep: 'This story is not over' if Iran continues 'aggressive' and 'provocative' behavior Overnight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One MORE (R-Texas) said he didn't “know that it’s necessary.”

The last large-scale military parade in Washington featuring Pentagon hardware and troops took place in 1991 to celebrate the end of the Gulf War. That display cost an estimated $8 million.