Emails obtained by The Huffington Post appear to confirm that then-President-elect Trump’s team asked the Pentagon to send photographs of military vehicles to use during the inaugural parade.
An aide denied in December that they had done so, and The Huffington Post notes that it isn’t clear whether the aide was aware of the conversations referenced in the Pentagon emails.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee “is seriously considering adding military vehicles to the Inaugural Parade,” wrote a Pentagon official in an email dated December 13, 2016.
The official said the Trump team approached the Pentagon and asked it to send pictures of military vehicles “[they] could add to the parade.”
“I explained that such support would be out of guidelines, and that costs associated with bringing military vehicles [to Washington, DC] would be considered reimbursable,” the official wrote, adding that they were “extremely reluctant” to provide photos of military vehicles to the transition team.
While the US military does participate in the inaugural parade by sending the colour guard and musical groups, it would be unusual to parade heavy equipment and arms through streets.
A transition team source told The Huffington Post in January that the team was “thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” referring to the types of military parades in China, North Korea, and Russia that are intended to display military might.
The Trump team ultimately decided against requesting military equipment at the inauguration: “Great news,” wrote another Pentagon official in a Dec. 27 email.
Trump instead asked to have an F-35 and an F/A-18 Super Hornet fly over his inaugural parade, according to a Pentagon official’s email from Jan. 11. The request was approved, but the flyover was canceled on Inauguration Day due to poor weather, according to Pentagon spokesman Maj. Jamie Davis.
The president has previously expressed his desire to show off the country’s military strength. “That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, DC, for parades,” Trump told the Washington Post during a January interview.
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