Trump isn't taking 'no tanks' for an answer for July Fourth

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump isn't taking "no tanks" for an answer on the Fourth of July.

He said Monday that a display of U.S. military tanks will be part of a special event he's headlining July 4 in Washington — and an Associated Press photographer saw at least two M1A1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles on flatcars in a railyard at the southeastern edge of Washington.

Military police were guarding the vehicles, which were visible to passersby on nearby paths.

A U.S. official told the AP that the military vehicles to be used in the July 4 event were being stored at the railyard.

Trump had wanted a military parade of tanks and other equipment in the District of Columbia after he witnessed a similar parade on Bastille Day in Paris in 2017. That plan eventually was scuttled, partly because of cost, though Trump apparently held on to the idea.

Local officials had also objected because of the damage the heavy armored tanks could do to city streets.

'You've got to be pretty careful...'

"We're going to have some tanks stationed outside," Trump said Monday from the Oval Office, appearing to acknowledge local officials' earlier concerns. He offered no specifics on where the vehicles would be located.

"You've got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks," he said. "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 were the tank most widely used by the U.S. during World War II, but they have been out of service for decades. The M1A1 Abrams tank is currently the main U.S. battle tank.

Two M1A1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles will be on display as part of Trump's "Salute to America" event, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the exhibits have not been made public.

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July Fourth celebrations across the US in 2018
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July Fourth celebrations across the US in 2018
Children in costumes march down Main Street during the annual Fourth of July parade in Barnstable Village on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: Kaitlyn Tarnoswki, 14, carries an American flag while riding a horse during the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
A boy rides a decorated bicycle down Main Street during the annual Fourth of July parade in Barnstable Village on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Two children ride on a mini all terrain vehicle down Main Street during the annual Fourth of July parade in Barnstable Village on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A man throws candies from a vintage car as he rides on Main Street in the annual Fourth of July parade in Barnstable Village on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Three-year-old Daisy, a Dachshund Terrier, is adorned with US flag colours awaiting a Fourth of July parade in San Gabriel, Califoria on July 4, 2018 as cities and towns across America celebrate Independence Day. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEWBERRY, SC - JULY 04: Residents watch the sixteenth annual Harper Street Parade on July 4, 2018 in Newberry, South Carolina. The event, beginning as a small bicycle gathering with less than thirty children, attracted 4,000 people last year. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
A man in Captain America costume rides down Main Street during the annual Fourth of July parade in Barnstable Village on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A woman throws candies from a vintage car as she rides on Main Street during the annual Fourth of July parade in Barnstable Village on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
NEWBERRY, SC - JULY 04: Two young boys prepare for the start of the sixteenth annual Harper Street Parade on July 4, 2018 in Newberry, South Carolina. The event, beginning as a small bicycle gathering with less than thirty children, attracted 4,000 people last year. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
NEWBERRY, SC - JULY 04: Allie Graves drives a four wheeler with a friend before the start of the sixteenth annual Harper Street Parade on July 4, 2018 in Newberry, South Carolina. The event, beginning as a small bicycle gathering with less than thirty children, attracted 4,000 people last year. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
NEWBERRY, SC - JULY 04: A young boy rides a toy firetruck during the sixteenth annual Harper Street Parade on July 4, 2018 in Newberry, South Carolina. The event, beginning as a small bicycle gathering with less than thirty children, attracted 4,000 people last year. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 03: Three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling artist Pentatonix perform at the 2018 A Capitol Fourth rehearsals at U.S. Capitol, West Lawn on July 3, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts Inc.)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 03: Three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling artist Pentatonix perform at the 2018 A Capitol Fourth rehearsals at U.S. Capitol, West Lawn on July 3, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts Inc.)
Young Kim, Republican U.S. Representative candidate from California, smiles before a Fourth of July parade in Hacienda Heights, California, U.S., on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Kim is seeking to replace retiring Representative Ed Royce in the 39th District. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Young Kim, Republican U.S. Representative candidate from California, waves during a Fourth of July parade in Hacienda Heights, California, U.S., on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Kim is seeking to replace retiring Representative Ed Royce in the 39th District. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Gil Cisneros, Democratic U.S. Representative candidate from California, left, waves while riding in a car with his wife and sons during a Fourth of July parade in Hacienda Heights, California, U.S., on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Cisneros, a Navy veteran,�is backed by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A man waves the US flag while driving his classic car during a Fourth of July parade in San Gabriel, California on July 4, 2018 as cities and towns across America celebrate Independence Day. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEWBERRY, SC - JULY 04: People cool off in the water at the end of the sixteenth annual Harper Street Parade on July 4, 2018 in Newberry, South Carolina. The event, beginning as a small bicycle gathering with less than thirty children, attracted 4,000 people last year. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
A Cub Scout join a Fourth of July parade in San Gabriel, California, on July 4, 2018 as cities and towns across America celebrate Independence Day. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEWBERRY, SC - JULY 04: People walk and ride down the road during the sixteenth annual Harper Street Parade on July 4, 2018 in Newberry, South Carolina. The event, beginning as a small bicycle gathering with less than thirty children, attracted 4,000 people last year. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
NEWBERRY, SC - JULY 04: Nine-year-old Wyatt Stuhr waits for the start of the sixteenth annual Harper Street Parade on July 4, 2018 in Newberry, South Carolina. The event, beginning as a small bicycle gathering with less than thirty children, attracted 4,000 people last year. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
A girl makes bubbles during a Fourth of July parade in San Gabriel, California on July 4, 2018 as cities and towns across America celebrate Independence Day. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 03: THE VOICE Season 14 finalist Kyla Jade performs at the 2018 A Capitol Fourth rehearsals at U.S. Capitol, West Lawn on July 3, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts Inc.)
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: Men on horseback ride through a field after taking part in the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: Horseback riders gather in a field after participating in the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: A man wearing a cowboy hat sits on a float decorated with American flag-themed streamers after the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: Clinton Baermann stands next to the float for his vintage store, Cowboy Corner, after the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: Patrice McKinney, dressed as Glinda the Good Witch from 'The Wizard of Oz,' tosses red, white, and blue bead necklaces to spectators during the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: A Republican Party of Texas float makes its way down Main Street during the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: Spectators wave as a pickup truck covered in American flags drives by during the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: The 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade makes its way toward Main Street on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
ROUND TOP, TX - JULY 04: Spectators watch the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas. The Round Top community's Fourth of July celebration started in 1851 and is known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. (Photo by Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrive during a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump walk after greeting people during a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
People stand during the National Anthem at a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A woman uses a fan with the U.S. flag on it before the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump at a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrive during a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A man kisses a child before the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump during a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
People attend a picnic for military families on the South Lawn of the White House July 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Abrams tanks weigh more than 60 tons apiece and were been shipped on railroad freight cars, from Fort Stewart, Georgia, the nearest Army base that has them. The White House declined to release more specific information.

Trump recalled his visit earlier this year to a plant in Lima, Ohio, where M1A1 Abrams tanks are refurbished. The plant had been at risk for closure but remained online due to Trump's investments in defense spending.

"We have some incredible equipment, military equipment on display — brand new," Trump said. "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 events are also expected to include a military demonstration by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and other aircraft.

"We're going to have a great Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. It'll be like no other," Trump said. "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 said.

Open to the public and free of charge

Trump plans to deliver a speech at the Lincoln Memorial during his "Salute to America," which has been added to the regular schedule of Independence Day events in the nation's capital. The annual fireworks display will go off closer to the Lincoln Memorial instead of the Washington Monument, as has been the long-standing tradition.

The event is open to the public and free of charge, but a ticket-only area in front of the memorial is being set aside for VIPs, including members of Trump's family, friends and members of the military, the White House said.

Last year, Trump and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, hosted service members and their families at a picnic on the White House lawn and the president addressed guests from the balcony. No similar event is being planned this year.

Federal lawmakers, local officials and others have voiced concerns that Trump could alter the tone of what traditionally is a nonpartisan celebration of America's independence from the British by delivering a political speech. Trump formally announced his bid for re-election in June.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who oversees the National Mall and has helped orchestrate the president's vision, and other officials have said Trump's remarks will be patriotic.

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