WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday that this year’s 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 on 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 celebration would 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 National 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 flyover appearances. Trump will deliver remarks from the Lincoln Memorial in a campaign-style rally.
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But just three days out from the celebration, many details remain unknown, with some apparently yet to be determined.
A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee told NBC News that the group had received tickets to Thursday's "Salute to America" event and distributed them, as they do with other White House events. The Fourth of July event is free and open to the public, but some of the tickets distributed by the RNC went to top donors and included perks such as better standing area and even seating.
Some have been critical of the president’s plans. The D.C. City Council has voiced its 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 it raised after the president previously floated the idea of a military parade. On Monday, it 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 nonpartisan 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."
At the White House on Monday, Trump said that he could deliver a speech on the Fourth of July for all Americans, but also argued that the Democrats will "destroy the country."