Trump wants military parade in Washington: Washington Post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered Pentagon and White House officials to begin planning a military parade in Washington similar to the Bastille Day parade he witnessed in Paris in July, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

At a meeting at the Pentagon on Jan. 18 that included Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford, Trump said he wanted a military parade, the Post reported, citing a military official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France," the military official said, according to the Post. "This is being worked at the highest levels of the military," the official added.

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President Trump, Melania Trump take part in Paris Bastille Day celebration
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President Trump, Melania Trump take part in Paris Bastille Day celebration
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
(From L) French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe speaks to U.S. First Lady Melania Trump, next to U.S. President Donald Trump during the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Christophe Archambault/Pool
French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump as First Lady Melania Trump looks on after the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman
U.S. troops, with soldiers wearing WWI helmets, march past French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump during the traditional Bastille day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
French President Emmanuel Macron (C) greets U.S. President Donald Trump, next to U.S. First Lady Melania Trump and Macron's wife Brigitte Macron (2ndR) during during the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Christophe Archambault/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte Macron (2ndR) walk with U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. First Lady Melania Trump after the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Christophe Archambault/Pool
French President Emmanuel Macron kisses U.S. First Lady Melania Trump as his wife Brigitte Macron looks on and next to U.S. President Donald Trump at the end of the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
U.S. President Donald Trump (C) shakes hands near U.S. First Lady Melania Trump (2ndL), Brigitte Macron (R), wife of the French President, Senate Speaker Gerard Larcher (C Rear) and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (L) as they arrive to attend the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Christohpe Archambault/Pool
French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk on the Place de la Concorde at the end of the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand in front of the American flag at the end of the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and US President Donald Trump stand in front of the US national flag held by soldiers, at the end of the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C) bids farewell, flanked by French President Emmanuel Macron (upL) and his wife Brigitte Macron (upR) as he leaves the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) and First Lady Melania Trump board Air Force One prior to departing Paris Orly Airport on July 14, 2017, following a two-day trip for France's Bastille Day. Bastille Day, the French National Day, is held annually each July 14, to commemorate the storming of the Bastille fortress in 1789. This years parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
(RtoL) US First Lady Melania Trump, US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, stand in front of the US national flag held by soldiers, at the end of the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (C-L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump, next to Macron's wife Brigitte Macron (L) and US First Lady Melania Trump, during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (2nd R) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) and his wife Brigitte Macron (L), next to US First Lady Melania Trump, during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
Brigitte Macron, wife of French President, (L) speaks with US First Lady Melania Trump (R) during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) shakes hands with US First Lady Melania Trump (R) next to US President Donald Trump during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks with US First Lady Melania Trump (R) during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
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After the Post published its story, the White House issued a statement that said Trump "has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation."

A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the parade planning was in the "brainstorming" stage and nothing had been decided, the Post reported.

The Pentagon was aware of a request for a parade but was only just starting to explore possibilities, including on timing, a Pentagon spokesman told Reuters. 

15 PHOTOS
President Trump with members of the military
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President Trump with members of the military
U.S. President Donald Trump is saluted by a military official as he departs from the capitol for the inaugural parade after his swearing in at the Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump gestures to the crowd as he stands with U.S. Army personnel as he watches the Army vs Navy college football game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, December 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President Donald Trump awards the Medal of Honor to James McCloughan, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S. July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump attends a lunch with members of the U.S. military during a visit at the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) headquarters in Tampa, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump poses for a photo with Army Sgt First Class Alvaro Barrientos, his wife Tammy and First Lady Melania Trump (R) after awarding him a Purple Heart at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump attends a lunch with members of the U.S. military during a visit at the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) headquarters in Tampa, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20: U.S. President Donald Trump salutes a U.S. Marine before boarding Marine One while departing from the White House, on March 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to Louisville Kentucky to speak at a Make America Great Rally. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with military personnel as he arrives at Harrisburg international airport, before attending a rally marking his first 100 days in office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump attends a lunch with members of the U.S. military during a visit at the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) headquarters in Tampa, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks to U.S. military personnel at Naval Air Station Sigonella following the G7 Summit, in Sigonella, Italy, May 27, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks to military personnel and families at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump greets members of the U.S. military as he prepares to board Air Force One, to survey hurricane damage, at Muniz Air National Guard Base in Carolina, Puerto Rico, October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump returns a salute as he steps from Marine One to board Air Force One in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S., on his way back to Washington August 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump salutes as he arrives at Newark International airport in Newark, NJ U.S., to spend a weekend at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminister, New Jersey, June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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Trump has said he was impressed by the military parade he watched in Paris on July 14. U.S. and French soldiers marched together to mark 100 years since the United States entered World War One and France's annual Bastille Day holiday. It included tanks, armored vehicles and a flyover of U.S. and French military jets.

"To a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue," Trump told reporters in September. "We're actually looking into it."

The U.S. capital has held large military displays to mark significant occasions, including victories in war, but rolling tanks and marching troops down Pennsylvania Avenue are not typically done on the U.S. Independence Day holiday.

(Writing by Eric Beech; Additional reporting by Phil Stewart, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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