It appears Donald Trump will get his military parade, and he has directed the Pentagon to plan his parade to travel from the White House to the Capitol on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
National security adviser H.R. McMaster gave Trump’s instructions in an unclassified memo to the Department of Defense, according to a senior administration official who summarized the memo to Politico.
In the memo, dated Tuesday, McMaster conveys Trump’s desire for Defense Secretary James Mattis to brief Trump on “concepts of operation” for the parade.
A poll released Tuesday found that majority of Americans, 61 percent, disapprove of the idea of a military parade, compared to only 26 who support it. Three-quarters of respondents said the parade would not be a good use of government funds.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told lawmakers last week that the event could cost between $10 million and $30 million.
Trump, who revels in pageantry, first floated the idea of putting on a military parade after he witnessed France’s Bastille Day parade last summer as a guest of French president Emmanuel Macron.
“It was a tremendous day, and to a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4th in Washington,” Trump recalled when Macron visited Washington two months later. “We’re going to have to try to top it.”
Whether Trump himself will participate in the event remains unclear. Macron took part in France’s parade, riding in an open-top military vehicle alongside the former chief of the French armed forces and surrounded by hundreds of military men on horseback.