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Trump says there will be military tanks at Fourth of July celebration

Image: Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Alex Azar
President Donald Trump, joined by joined by Vice President Mike Pence, from left, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, from right, holds up a $4.6 billion aid package to help the federal government cope with the surge of Central American Copyright Carolyn Kaster AP
Copyright Carolyn Kaster AP
By Lauren Egan with NBC News Politics
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The president told reporters Monday that Thursday's event would feature military tanks, amid fresh criticism of changes to the annual event.


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday that this year's annual Fourth of July celebration in the nation's capital would feature military tanks.

"We're going to have some tanks stationed outside," Trump said to reporters during an event in the Oval Office Monday afternoon. "You've got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks. So we have to put them in certain areas."

Trump promised this year's Independence Day celebrationwould be like"none other,"featuring tanks from a factory in Lima, Ohio.

The Washington Post reported earlier Monday that Trump had expressed interest in having a massive display of military infrastructure at the annual celebration on the Mall. Air Force One and the Navy's Blue Angels, who were reportedly previously scheduled to be off on the holiday, are also expected to make a flyover appearance. Trump will deliver remarks from the Lincoln Memorial in a campaign-style rally.

But just three days out from the celebration, many details remain unknown, with some apparently yet to be determined.

Some have been critical of the president's plans.

The D.C. City Council has voiced their opposition to the celebration, noting the high cost as well as the damage that military tanks could do to the city's roads — echoing concerns they raised after the president previously floated the idea of a military parade. On Monday they tweeted"Tanks, but no tanks."

Some members of Congress have also raised questions over Trump's involvement in what has traditionally been a nonpartisan event, given taxpayer involvement.

Last month, senior House Democrats wrote a letter urging Trump to reconsider his plans.

"For decades, the Fourth of July on the National Mall has been non-partisan and apolitical," they wrote in the letter. "We respectfully call on you to look for ways to complement, not conflict with, the Fourth of July celebration, such as considering an earlier time or alternative location for your remarks."

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