Trump’s Team Said It Didn’t Ask For Military Vehicles At Inauguration. Emails Show It Did.

  • WASHINGTON ― 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 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.
  • When Trump’s team floated the idea of sending tanks and missile launchers down Pennsylvania Avenue, some worried it might resemble the massive military parades in North Korea, a source involved in inaugural preparations told HuffPost in January.
  • “Great news,” one Pentagon official wrote on Dec. 27, responding to an email confirming that the Trump team had abandoned its efforts to procure “military tactical vehicles” for the parade.

“Such support would be out of guidelines,” one Pentagon official wrote.

@NickBaumann: Trump’s team told us they didn’t ask for military vehicles for inaugural parade. Emails show they did:

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. Asked in December about plans to use military equipment during the occasion, a Trump aide refused to address the matter on the record but offered a vehement off-the-record denial. It’s not clear whether the aide was aware of the conversations referenced in the Pentagon emails, and he did not respond to a request for an explanation.

The Pentagon typically works closely with presidential inaugural committees to plan the parades. But the military usually provides support in the form of musical groups and color guards rather than heavy military equipment. When Trump’s team floated the idea of sending tanks and missile launchers down Pennsylvania Avenue, some worried it might resemble the massive military parades in North Korea, a source involved in inaugural preparations told HuffPost in January. They were also concerned that the heavy tanks could damage D.C. roads.

The military wasn’t sure how to respond to the Trump team’s December inquiry, the emails show. “I’m extremely reluctant to produce an improvised list of military vehicles that we might be held to,” the Pentagon official wrote. “Also concerned that we as a command need an opportunity to staff this request and to make deliberate decisions about vehicle choice and configuration, paint scheme, uniform for crew members, etc. before we start providing pictures which might be regarded as binding.”

Trump’s Team Said It Didn’t Ask For Military Vehicles At Inauguration. Emails Show It Did.

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