Mr. Trump wants a parade

(File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) The White House is pushing ahead with the idea of throwing a grand parade to honor U.S. armed forces, brushing aside Democratic criticism.

In response to Sen. Dick Durbin's comment that such a parade would be a "fantastic waste of money," White House legislative director Marc Short told MSNBC: "I'm not sure honoring the military is a waste of money."

Short says it's too early to know how much the parade would cost.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Mr. Trump's request for a parade on Tuesday.

She says Mr. Trump wants the Pentagon to "explore a celebration" that would allow Americans to show appreciation for the military.

A Pentagon spokesman, Charlie Summers, says Pentagon officials are aware of the request and are "looking at options."

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says President Donald Trump's desire for a massive military parade reflects his respect and fondness for the U.S. military.

Mattis says the Pentagon has been putting together options for a parade.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says he supports the plan for the parade as long as it's not a "cheesy" show of military might.

Graham said on Twitter Wednesday that any parade should focus on "sacrifice, and saying 'Thank You' to those who protect our nation."

He also told CNN that a parade risks being "kind of cheesy and a sign of weakness" if it's just about showing off military muscle.

Military parades of the kind that are common in authoritarian countries like China and North Korea are not quintessentially American.

The U.S. traditionally has not embraced showy displays of raw military power, such as North Korea's parading of ballistic missiles as a claim of international prestige and influence.