President Donald J. Trump exits Air Force One as he arrives at Palm Beach International Airport in Palm Beach, Florida on December 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO /...

Trump directs Pentagon to prepare a military parade


In theory, Donald Trump seems to have a lengthy to-do list. The president and congressional lawmakers are engaged in difficult talks over everything from immigration to the budget to North Korea, and there’s no shortage of pressing deadlines.

But in practice, Trump seems to have quite a bit of time to consider some of his other priorities – such as military parades. NBC News reported overnight:

At President Donald Trump’s urging, the Pentagon is looking at dates for a possible military parade in Washington that could take place in November, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that Trump expressed his desire for a military parade at a Jan. 18 meeting between Trump and top generals, and his desire was heard as a presidential directive. The paper cited two officials briefed on the planning.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed to NBC News that the president has made the request. A senior administration official added that Trump has “given the directive to begin the planning so the planning has begun.”

And while plenty of details still need to be worked out, the Washington Post’s report included this tidbit: “The location is still being discussed, though Trump has said he would like it to proceed along Pennsylvania Avenue, which links the Capitol and the White House. It would be the same route as Trump’s inaugural parade and pass by his family’s showpiece: Trump International Hotel.”

It’s as if the president heard criticisms of his authoritarian instincts and responded, in the voice of a James Bond villain, “I’ll show them….”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders added yesterday that the plans are an extension of the president being “incredibly supportive of America’s great service members,” which is true, just so long as we overlook the instances in which Trump wasn’t incredibly supportive of the military.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, you might be thinking of this Huffington Post piece from early last year.

The month after Donald Trump won the presidential election, his staff asked the Pentagon to send photographs of military tactical vehicles that he could include in his inaugural parade, emails obtained by The Huffington Post show.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee “is seriously considering adding military vehicles to the Inaugural Parade,” a Pentagon official wrote in an internal email dated Dec. 13, 2016. “The conversation started as ‘Can you send us some pictures of military vehicles we could add to the parade,’” the official wrote.

The emails, which were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, corroborate HuffPost’s January report that Trump, who has spoken favorably of public displays of military prowess, looked into deploying heavy military equipment in his inaugural parade.

On the show in March 2017, Rachel showed footage of military parades in Russia and North Korea, and added, “There’s no law against parading your military, whether or not it’s an important anniversary. But through American eyes, this is a little weird, right? If this gives you the willies to look at, it’s because it’s supposed to. This is an unabashed, uncomplicated, undisguised display of military prowess or national insecurity, depending on how you look at it.”

And now it seems we know exactly how our current president looks at it.