Trump insists military leaders ‘thrilled’ after reports he demanded they stand next to him at 4th of July parade

Donald Trump has suggested military leaders are “thrilled” to be taking part in his Fourth of July parade, after it was reported that he demanded they stand next to him during the event.

The US president is headlining a “Salute to America” in Washington DC on Thursday.

“The Pentagon & our great Military Leaders are thrilled to be doing this & showing to the American people, among other things, the strongest and most advanced Military anywhere in the World,” Mr Trump said on Twitter.

“Incredible Flyovers & biggest ever Fireworks!”

The president has requested that the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines stand next to him as aircraft from each of their branches of the military fly overhead, according to The New York Times.

Mr Trump has wanted a a military parade in the US capital after since witnessing a procession on Bastille Day 2017 in Paris.

His plans have been long delayed, partly because of the cost.

“We’re going to have some tanks stationed outside,” the 73-year-old said on Monday.

Washington DC officials fear the inclusion of heavily armoured tanks could damage the city’s streets.

The Council of DC tweeted its opposition to the event on Monday: “We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks.”

Mr Trump has acknowledged local opposition to the parade.

“You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks,” he said on Monday.

“So we have to put them in certain areas, but we have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abrams tanks.”

Sherman tanks were used by the US during the Second World War, but have been out of service for decades. The M1A1 Abrams tank is currently the main US battle tank.

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