Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Trump has been imagining a military parade for over a year

Trump has been imagining a military parade for over a year

Trump attended the Bastille Day parade in Paris on July 14th, following an invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Trump has frequently spoken of his longtime support for veterans - he praised them twice in the past week in his Black History Month proclamation and in his Super Bowl statement.

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.

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The White House pushed ahead Wednesday with plans to throw a grand military parade through the streets of Washington, brushing aside criticism that such a display could be an unnecessary show of raw military power.

"So far its going over in the military and veterans community like a lead balloon", said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or IAVA.

"I think we're all aware, in this country, of the president's affection and respect for the military", said Defense Secretary James Mattis.

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White House and military officials confirmed preliminary planning was already underway, but said a date had not yet been decided. But France's tradition comes from a place of pacifism and worldwide goodwill, with French soldiers carrying flags of the European Union and including troops from other countries. He said last September in a conversation with Macron that he would like such a parade in Washington. At the time, the Soviet Union had yet to collapse - although it had begun to crumble - which might help to explain the freakish, Cold War feel of holding a parade in 2018. The president, who's entered into size contests with foreign despots before, isn't acting out of character by asking for a parade bigger than France's.

Sen. Dick Durbin called the idea "a fantastic waste of money to amuse the president", and Sen. In the United States, anyone of any status can think and say or write what they like about the soldiers. You know, it has nothing to do with his lack of military service, but more to do with his lack of judgment to think that this is appropriate.

"The cost borne by the Department of Defense for the 2009 and 2013 presidential inaugurations was approximately $20 million to $25 million", Davis said.

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Vote Vets, a left-leaning veterans group, rebuked the idea with retired Major Gen. Paul Eaton, a senior adviser to the group, saying: "The military is not Donald Trump's to use and abuse in this way".

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