President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling 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.”
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 Mattis20 years after 9/11, we've logged successes but the fight continues Defense & National Security — The mental scars of Afghanistan House panel advances 8B defense bill 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 ThornberryUnnamed law enforcement banned under the new NDAA Lobbying world Senate poised to override Trump's defense bill veto 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.