It would appear that Donald Trump’s elaborate Fourth of July plans in the nation’s capital seem to be coming together.
At least two M1A1 Abrams tanks have arrived in D.C., according to the Associated Press. The tanks were spotted by an AP photographer on the outskirts of D.C., along with two Bradley Fighting Vehicles on a flat car of a freight train in a rail yard.
A military official told the AP that the heavy hardware made the trip to Washington from Fort Stewart in Georgia. The timely appearance of these tanks in the capital happened days before the Independence Day celebration – “Salute to America” – planned by the president. The event was planned with an ostensible focus on honoring the military.
The tanks, visible to the public on paths near the rail yard on the southeastern edge of Washington, are guarded by military police.
Trump has reportedly been playing party planner with the patriotic event for months, asking for over-the-top displays, an exclusive VIP area, over 300 servicemen and women on parade, a military fly-over by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and almost $1 million worth of fireworks. According to The Inquisitr, Trump announced yesterday that he was planning on stationing the tanks around the National Mall.
Omg the tanks are already in D.C. https://t.co/krIfbxZeKe— Andrew Peng (@TheAPJournalist) July 2, 2019
The president set Twitter alight Monday, during an address to reporters, when he erroneously promised “brand new” Sherman tanks would take part in the celebration, per The Inquisitr.
Trump: "We have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abrams tanks."— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 2, 2019
The truth: "The US military has not used World War II-era M4 Sherman tanks since the 1950s." The M1 Abrams tanks are still in operation.https://t.co/QkZWrIAuEO
During a bill signing at the White House, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that the display would include the use of the tanks from World War II, which haven’t been in regular service for nearly 70 years.
“We’ve got the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abrams tanks. We have some incredible equipment. And we’re very proud of it,” said Trump.
When asked about any possible damage to the streets of Washington during the display of military might, the president responded to his critics with his plan.
“Gotta be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks so we have to put them in certain areas,” he said
The president has yet to give any details as to what purpose the tanks will serve, or what they will do during the display.
On Monday, U.S. Park Police Chief, Robert MacLean, would not confirm that any tanks would be part of the president’s patriotic blowout.
“We don’t have all of those logistics nailed down at this point,” Maclean told NBC Washington.