Donald Trump under fire for July 4th military parade plans

Newstalk ZB, CNN,
Publish Date
Thursday, 4 July 2019, 1:05PM
US military personnel prepare for the planned parade. (Photo / CNN)

There's controversy over Donald Trump's plans for Independence Day celebrations.

The US President will be hosting a July 4th event and is expected to have tanks on the streets and fighter jets passing overhead.

US correspondent Rebecca Wright says usually Independence Days are apolitical, and the President doesn't usually get involved.

She told Kate Hawkesby that won't be the case tomorrow because the US President will be putting himself front and centre.

"He's inviting his supporters, quite a few VIPs, and he;'s planning on giving a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, which will be quite the backdrop. So it could end up, and

Trump has dismissed the criticism, claiming that "the Pentagon and our great Military Leaders are thrilled" to be participating in the celebrations.

"Big 4th of July in D.C. 'Salute to America.' The Pentagon & our great Military Leaders are thrilled to be doing this & showing to the American people, among other things, the strongest and most advanced Military anywhere in the World. Incredible Flyovers & biggest ever Fireworks!" the President tweeted.

The US military is expected to showcase a wide variety of weaponry, including M1 Abrams tanks.

Several types of military aircraft are expected to take part in the event including the new Marine One Presidential VH-92 helicopter, which will be making its debut, a defense official confirmed to CNN.

Additionally, 900 members of the DC National Guard have been called up to help with traffic control and security on the streets and in the Metro subway system on July Fourth, according to a military official.

That is nearly triple the typical 300-person activation for July Fourth activities in Washington because a larger security footprint is needed, the official said.

However, Wright says that Trump will have to face off against those on the other side of the political spectrum.

"We are expecting protests too in Washington DC. They have got permission to fl the Trump baby balloon, so it looks like it will be quite a show."

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