President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration team reportedly wanted to include tanks and missiles in his parade Friday to show off U.S. military power, the Huffington Post reported Thursday.
According to several sources involved in Friday's proceedings, Trump wanted to make sure his swearing-in came amid an "unusual display of heavy military equipment," the HuffPost's Jessica Schulberg reported—although the military itself ultimately denied the request.
"They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade," the source said, referring to the kind of show-of-strength military marches typically seen in Moscow and Pyongyang.
As Trump himself told the Washington Post on Wednesday of plans for the parade, "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."
The military, which traditionally works closely with the presidential inaugural committee, shot down the request, the source said. Their reason was twofold. Some were concerned about the optics of having tanks and missile launchers rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue. But they also worried that the tanks, which often weigh over 100,000 pounds, would destroy the roads.
"I could absolutely see structural support being a reason [not to use tanks]," a Department of Defense official said. "D.C. is built on a swamp to begin with."
There will, however, be five military flyovers representing each wing of the armed forces—which are not typical for inauguration parades.
Stephen Kerrigan, a top official in both of President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremonies, said he was "shocked" to hear about the flyover plans. "It seems unnecessary and the optics don't seem appropriate. ...It's very Red Square," he said.