Update: 3/30/17 It has been confirmed that the administration did inquire via e-mail about having a military presence at the parade. You can view the Email here:
We now rate this True. We have left the original fact check unchanged as it tells the back story of the claim and the available information at that time.
(1/20/17) We were asked to fact check if the Trump team wanted tanks and missile launchers in the Inaugural parade. This story comes from the Huffington Post entitled “Trump Sought Military Equipment For Inauguration, Granted 20-Plane Flyover.”
First, we need to check where this statement came from. On Wednesday, January 18th Donald Trump was interviewed by the Washington Post. In this interview Trump was asked “How can greatness be measured and sensed? What does it even mean?”
Trump replied: “Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country,” Trump said. “And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military.
“That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military,” he added.
From this exchange it is clear that Trump does intend to show off the Military, but nowhere does he say he will be parading tanks and missile launchers. He also never mentions the Inaugural Parade.
The Huffington Post reported that during the preparation for Friday’s transfer-of-power, a member of Trump’s transition team floated the idea of including tanks and missile launchers in the inaugural parade, a source involved in inaugural planning told The Huffington Post. “They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” the source said, referring to massive military parades in Moscow and Pyongyang, typically seen as an aggressive display of muscle-flexing.
Defense Department spokeswoman Valerie Henderson declined to comment on the request for tanks and missile launchers, referring questions to the Trump transition team. Beyond this there isn’t any evidence to confirm or deny whether Trump planned to have the Military in his parade.
Did Trump state that he wanted the Military in parades? Yes. Did he say he wanted tanks and missile launchers at the Inauguration? No. Further, the source who made this claim is unnamed.
As of this writing this is simply an unverified story from an unnamed source. We cannot state if it is true or false. If more information comes forward we can make a rating. Until then this claim remains UNVERIFIED.
Sources linked in article.
Dave Van Zandt