President Trump on Saturday night said he is hopeful that a military parade “with a lot of plane flyovers” can be staged in Washington on Veterans Day but acknowledged that the expense could be a concern.
“We’ll see if we can do it at a reasonable cost, and if we can’t, we won’t do it, but the generals would love to do it, I can tell you, and so would I,” Trump said during a call in to a Fox News television show. “I think it’s great for our country.”
The parade Trump envisions would cost between $10 million and $30 million, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said earlier this month.
Trump has directed the Pentagon to plan a parade for later this year to showcase U.S. military might. The inspiration was France’s Bastille Day celebration last year, which Trump attended in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron, and found very impressive.
“I was at the Bastille Day parade in France with the president of France, very good guy, and it was quite something, and frankly I think it’s great for spirit,” Trump told host Jeanine Pirro during Saturday night’s broadcast of “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
Democrats and even some Republicans have questioned the need for such an event, suggesting it could have authoritarian overtones depending on how it’s conducted. Many in the military have also questioned whether a parade would be a waste of money.
Trump insisted Saturday that “the military loves it, they love the idea.”
Asked about a date for a U.S. parade, Trump said he likes the idea of Independence Day “because July Fourth in Washington, D.C., would be beautiful.” But he said the Veterans Day holiday in November is more possible.
Trump suggested the military parade would follow the traditional route of inaugural parades.
“It would be up and down Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said, adding that in addition to the display of military might on the ground, there would also be “a lot of plane flyovers.”