'We have a Napoleon in the making': Lawmakers rain on Trump's military parade idea

 

  • Democratic lawmakers scoffed at reports of President Donald Trump's proposal to stage a military parade.
  • Trump reportedly floated the idea to officials after witnessing France's military parade in July during that country's Bastille Day celebration.


Some lawmakers are shooting down the idea of a grand military parade that President Donald Trump reportedly proposed to US military officials last month.

"I was stunned by it to be quite honest," Rep. Jackie Speier of California said to CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday. "I mean, we have a Napoleon in the making here."

Trump's inspiration for the parade came after witnessing France's armed forces march during Bastille Day in July last year, according to a Washington Post report.

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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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The president floated the idea during a meeting with US military officials, including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, where Trump's musing was perceived as a direct order, sources said in The Post's report.

The plan is reportedly in its "brainstorming" stages and may be held this year around a patriotic holiday, like Independence Day on July 4, or Veterans Day on November 11.

Speier called the proposal "a waste of money" and said "everybody should be offended by [Trump's] need to always be 'showing.'"

"It's not our style, it's not the way we do business. And I really object to it," Speier continued. "And I think it's going to cost a lot of money. So what's really in it for the American people?"

Rep. Ted Lieu, a colonel in the Air Force Reserves, also criticized the plan by saying "basically anything" was better than funding a military parade:

Lieu said: "Dear Donald Trump: You know what would be more useful than asking the Pentagon to waste money on a big military parade? Basically anything."

 

 

 

Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a former lieutenant colonel in the Army, also weighed in and called Trump "Cadet Bone Spurs," apparently referencing an ailment Trump used as justification for draft deferments during the Vietnam War:

 

 

 

Duckworth said: "We don't live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. I swore an oath — in the military and in the Senate— to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to mindlessly cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs and clap when he demands I clap."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duckworth also tweeted an image of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, and added: "Thankfully, there are better quotes from better Republican Presidents. Here’s one from Theodore Roosevelt — a Republican who earned the applause he received — that Trump might want to consider."

 

 

 

The Roosevelt quote reads: "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but it is treasonable to the American public." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CNN analyst Mark Hertling, a former US Army Lt. Gen., said he had a "bemused smile" when he heard of the reports.

 

 

 

"I had to smile, Anderson," Hertling said to Cooper. "It's an interesting request from the president to his military."

 

 

 

"It is not in the culture of the United States military," Hertling continued. "That is not who we are from our founding fathers. The military were civilians that came together and protected our democracy. It's not an overt effort to show how tough you are."

 

 

 

Funding for the proposed parade remains an open question. The US government would likely spend millions of dollars to transport vehicles and equipment to Washington for the event, and preparing for the occasion would likely take time and funding away from training troops — which was emphasized by Mattis to congressional leaders during a House Armed Services Committee meeting on Tuesday.

 

 

 

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SEE ALSO: The Trump administration is exploring options for a military parade in Washington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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