During the planning process for Friday’s inauguration ceremonies, Donald Trump and his transition team were attempting to model the celebration after a “North Korean-style parade,” the Huffington Post reported on Thursday.
According to sources close to the Trump team, the president-elect was hoping his inauguration festivities would be dominated by “tanks and missile launchers,” similar to parades put on by authoritarian regimes, like North Korea and Russia.
More from the report:
During the preparation for Friday’s transfer-of-power, a member of Trump’s transition team floated the idea of including tanks and missile launchers in the inaugural parade, a source involved in inaugural planning told The Huffington Post. “They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” the source said, referring to massive military parades in Moscow and Pyongyang, typically seen as an aggressive display of muscle-flexing.
The Huffington Post’s reporting echoes a Washington Post story published earlier in the day in which Trump told the newspaper that a major part of being commander-in-chief is publicly demonstrating military strength.
“Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country,” Trump said. “And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military.”
He continued: “That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.”
Luckily, the Pentagon shot down Trump’s request to bring in heavy weaponry for his inaugural parade, citing both the perception of such a display and the fact that it could damage the streets of D.C.
“Some were concerned about the optics of having tanks and missile launchers rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue,” the Huffington Post reported. “But they also worried that the tanks, which often weigh over 100,000 pounds, would destroy the roads.”
The request by Trump indicates one of two things, both of which are dangerous for an incoming commander-in-chief: 1. He holds a narrow, childish view that the presidency is simply about beating your chest and showing off the military; or 2. He wants America to be more like the authoritarian countries that have such displays.
Perhaps it’s a combination of the two.
Though the military shattered Trump’s hopes of a full-fledged North Korean/Russian military parade, they are moving forward with his request to have five military flyovers – a display that is rarely part of inaugurations, the report noted.
More from the Huffington Post report:
Stephen Kerrigan, who held top positions in Obama’s first and second presidential inaugural committees, said he was ‘shocked’ to hear about the planned flyovers for Friday. “It seems unnecessary and the optics don’t seem appropriate. … It’s very Red Square,” he said.
Given Trump’s praise of Russia and Vladimir Putin – and the fact that the Russians waged a cyberattack against the U.S. on Trump’s behalf – it’s only fitting that he would try to model his inauguration ceremonies after their military parades.
Is it 2020 yet?
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.