Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday said President Trump’s idea for a military parade is a reflection of his “affection and respect” for the military.
“I think we’re all aware, in this country, of the president’s affection and respect for the military,” Mattis said at a White House briefing.
“We’ve been putting together some options. We’ll send them up to the White House for a decision,” he added.
Mattis was asked by reporters how much a military parade would cost, and why the Pentagon should divert any resources to it.
“As far as the parade goes, again, the president’s respect, his fondness for the military, I think is reflected in him asking for these options,” Mattis said.
The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that the president mentioned the idea during a meeting at the Pentagon last month, prompting planning to begin.
The White House confirmed on Tuesday that such planning was underway. Trump critics have slammed the idea, despite such military parades being conducted in the past.
Former State Department Press Secretary and retired Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby called it a “tremendously bad idea.”
“This is not about showcasing our military. This is about the president showing off. This is all about his ego,” he said on CNN’s New Day.