In the two months since President Trump was sworn in, rumors have swirled around the inauguration — about the crowd size, whether or not it was raining during the president's address, and so on. Thanks to some perfectly timed aerial shots, we know that, much like various aspects of his professional and presidential life, Trump exaggerated the number of attendees at his big day. Now, a report from the Huffington Post claims that there is even more evidence that the White House lied about the inauguration, this time involving an odd request for the inaugural parade.
According to emails obtained by the Huffington Post via a Freedom of Information Act request, the Trump transition team asked the Pentagon to provide photographs of military tactical vehicles that could be used in the inaugural parade.
The publication's initial report on the matter, conducted in January before the inauguration, said that Trump had hoped to parade military vehicles and missile launchers along the Pennsylvania Avenue route, which a source involved in inaugural planning confirmed at the time. "They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade," the source told the Huffington Post, conjuring images of Russian and Kremlin parades where military prowess is considered above all else.
Yet during that first report, a Trump aide denied that the transition team had requested military equipment for the parade (it is so far unclear whether the aide knew of the emails between the White House and Pentagon).
But based on an internal email sent from the Pentagon, officials had received the transition team's query regarding military vehicle photos and were anticipating their formal request of such equipment for the parade.
The author of the Pentagon email appeared to be uncomfortable with the request, saying, "I explained that such support would be out of guidelines, and the costs associated with bringing military vehicles to the [National Capital Region] would be considered reimbursable."
Trump allegedly abandoned the request in late December, with one Pentagon official calling the development "great news" in a subsequent email.
As luck would have it, Trump never did get to live out his military fantasies on inauguration day. After the Pentagon rejected a request to have a flyover from each military service in the parade, officials approved four fighter jets each for the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines, and Coast Guard.
But poor weather conditions — it did, in fact, rain on Inauguration Day, regardless of what Trump claimed — caused the aircraft to remain grounded.