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Trump isn’t taking ‘no tanks’ for an answer for Fourth of July

Darlene Superville, The Related Press
Printed Monday, July 1, 2019 9:29PM EDT

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is not taking “no tanks” for a solution on the Fourth of July.

He stated Monday {that a} show of U.S. army tanks can be a part of a particular occasion he is headlining July four in Washington — and an Related Press photographer noticed at the very least two M1A1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Combating Autos on a flatcar in a railyard on the southeastern fringe of Washington.

Army police had been guarding the automobiles, which had been seen to passersby on close by paths.

A U.S. official advised the AP that the army automobiles for use within the July four occasion had been being saved on the railyard.

Trump had needed a army parade of tanks and different gear within the District of Columbia after he witnessed the same parade on Bastille Day in Paris in 2017. That plan ultimately was scuttled, partly due to value, although Trump apparently held on to the concept.

Native officers had additionally objected due to the injury the heavy armoured tanks might do to metropolis streets.

“We’re going to have some tanks stationed outside,” Trump stated Monday from the Oval Workplace, showing to acknowledge native officers’ earlier issues. He supplied no specifics on the place the automobiles could be situated.

“You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks,” he stated. “So we have to put them in certain areas, but we have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abrams tanks.”

Sherman tanks had been the tank most generally utilized by the U.S. throughout World Struggle II, however they’ve been out of service for many years. The M1A1 Abrams tank is at the moment the primary U.S. battle tank.

Two M1A1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Combating Autos can be on show as a part of Trump’s “Salute to America” occasion, in line with a U.S. official who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of particulars of the displays haven’t been made public.

The Abrams tanks weigh greater than 60 tons apiece and had been been shipped on railroad freight automobiles, from Fort Stewart, Georgia, the closest Military base that has them. The White Home declined to launch extra particular data.

Trump recalled his go to earlier this 12 months to a plant in Lima, Ohio, the place M1A1 Abrams tanks are refurbished. The plant had been in danger for closure however remained on-line as a result of Trump’s investments in defence spending.

“We have some incredible equipment, military equipment on display — brand new,” Trump stated. “And we’re very proud of it. You know we’re making a lot of new tanks right now. We’re building a lot of new tanks in Lima, Ohio — our great tank factory that people wanted to close down until I got elected and I stopped it from being closed down, and now it’s a very productive facility.”

Thursday’s occasions are additionally anticipated to incorporate a army demonstration by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and different plane.

“We’re going to have a great Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. It’ll be like no other,” Trump stated. “It’ll be special and I hope a lot of people come. And it’s going to be about this country and it’s a salute to America.”

“I’m going to say a few words and we’re going to have planes going overhead, the best fighter jets in the world and other planes, too,” he stated.

Trump plans to ship a speech on the Lincoln Memorial throughout his “Salute to America,” which has been added to the common schedule of Independence Day occasions within the nation’s capital. The annual fireworks show will go off nearer to the Lincoln Memorial as an alternative of the Washington Monument, as has been the long-standing custom.

The occasion is open to the general public and freed from cost, however a ticket-only space in entrance of the memorial is being put aside for VIPs, together with members of Trump’s household, associates and members of the army, the White Home stated.

Final 12 months, Trump and his spouse, first woman Melania Trump, hosted service members and their households at a picnic on the White Home garden and the president addressed visitors from the balcony. No comparable occasion is being deliberate this 12 months.

Federal lawmakers, native officers and others have voiced issues that Trump might alter the tone of what historically is a nonpartisan celebration of America’s independence from the British by delivering a political speech. Trump formally introduced his bid for re-election in June.

Inside Secretary David Bernhardt, who oversees the Nationwide Mall and has helped orchestrate the president’s imaginative and prescient, and different officers have stated Trump’s remarks can be patriotic.

——

Related Press author Lolita C. Baldor and Related Press photographer Patrick Semansky in Washington contributed to this report.

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