Trump isn't taking 'no tanks' for an answer for July Fourth

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton forcefully pushed back on plans by President Donald Trump to include U.S. Army tanks in the Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall, saying that "can't happen".

Trump had wanted a military parade of tanks and other equipment in Washington after he watched a military parade on Bastille Day in Paris in 2017.

But Mr Trump's plans for a military display on Veterans Day in November a year ago were torpedoed after defence officials said it would cost about $92m - more than three times the original estimate.

"We have some incredible equipment, military equipment on display - brand new".

Trump is turning a day about the country into a day about himself, not that that should surprise anyone.

"And we're going to have some tanks stationed outside".

The ongoing negotiations over whether to use massive military hardware, such as Abrams tanks or Bradley Fighting Vehicles, as a prop for Trump's "Salute to America" is just one of many unfinished details when it comes to the celebration planned for Thursday, according to several people briefed on the plan, who spoke on the anonymity to speak frankly...

There's been a number of reports about Trump's interest and involvement in planning the D.C. celebration. But that plan eventually was scuttled, partly because of cost.

Trump seemed to miss the fact that the point of Bastille Day is not military might, but rather the people's rights.

Military planners had determined that the now-canceled parade was not going to feature tanks or other tracked vehicles due to concerns they could damage infrastructure.

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The Secret Service and White House are also handling the security and admittance to a VIP seating area located in front of the Lincoln Memorial, according to a news conference held by local and federal officials on Friday.

A plan to roll tanks down Pennsylvania Avenue on Veterans Day 2018 was nixed after the Pentagon released the plan's estimated cost: more than $90 million. As there are now no armored vehicles stationed in DC, the vehicles are likely to be brought into DC via trains and transported to the location on the back of trucks.

Thursday's events are also expected to include military flyovers by the US Navy's Blue Angels, F-22 fighter jets and possibly other military aircraft.

A progressive group received permission Monday for their round, diapered Donald Trump baby balloon to be present during a July 4 celebration near the location where Trump will deliver remarks celebrating the nation's birthday.

A ranking official of the Department of Defense (DoD) said the current plan is to have a very small number of AFVs participate in the static display at the National Mall.

One anonymous White House official told HuffPost, "This speech will not be political".

Traditionally, the National Mall in Washington, DC is the city's most popular spot for Fourth of July festivities.

Prior to this year, no U.S. president in recent history has made themselves part of the Fourth of July event in Washington, DC.

Americans "shouldn't be lured by the trappings or the spectacle or the rhetoric of Mr. Trump", the board said, instead suggesting they should "claim the day for values embraced by the founders: freedom, tolerance and respect for all".

  • Sonia Alvarado