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Trump-requested parade might not be in Washington, Pentagon suggests

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The Pentagon on Thursday said it was not certain that the Washington-area would host a parade requested by President Donald Trump to honor the U.S. military.

“We don’t know that. There are options and we will explore those and the president will ultimately decide,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, adding that the U.S. Army was taking the lead in creating options for the event.

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The White House has asked the Pentagon to explore a celebration of “America’s great service members,” after the Republican president marveled at the Bastille Day military parade he attended in Paris last year.

Critics have argued that a parade could cost millions of dollars, at a time the Pentagon wants more stable funding for an overstretched military.

When asked who would pay for the cost of the parade, White said the Pentagon was still in the planning phase.

On Wednesday, the Council of the District of Columbia ridiculed the idea of a parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, the 1.2-mile (1.9-km) stretch between the Capitol and the White House that is also the site of the Trump International Hotel.

“Tanks but no tanks!” it tweeted.

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One option under consideration is for a parade on Nov. 11 – which would be the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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Rick Santorum starts shouting about Joe Biden after being unable to defend Trump’s Ukraine scheme

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After Tuesday's impeachment testimony, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tried to defend President Donald Trump's Ukraine scheme to a CNN panel — and was reduced to shouting about former Vice President Joe Biden as his co-panelists tore down his arguments.

"Every one of the people there had the same thing, which is to change the Obama policy, which was leaving Ukrainians without any way to defend themselves ... we have [Trump] in there and fighting for Ukraine and now the Democrats are saying, well, this is wonderful, BUT..."

"Let me just ask you the question," said former Obama strategist David Axelrod. "Because this lethal aid has been important, it gives them quite a bit of leverage, the president, if he wants them."

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Sondland is in ‘tremendous trouble’ no matter how he tries to change his testimony tomorrow: NYT columnist

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On Tuesday, in the wake of testimony from several witnesses in the impeachment hearing that broadly implicated EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in improper backchannel foreign policy, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali suggested that Sondland is in "tremendous trouble" — and that no testimony he could give tomorrow will get him out of this mess:

No. He will be trying to save himself. The perjury plus multiple stellar witnesses paint a damning portrait. He's in tremendous trouble. https://t.co/CxN5w0EErb

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Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal

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The second half of Tuesday's hearing offered something new in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry: Witnesses called by the Republican minority on the House Intelligence Committee. It's understandable why Republicans would want these two men.

One of them was Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide who is among the few people directly exposed to Trump's famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who claims to believe there was nothing wrong with it. The other was Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, who appears to have been a major actor in Trump's extortion scheme in that country. Indeed, Volker was deemed one of the "three amigos" — along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump donor/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — who Trump entrusted with Ukrainian relations as he exerted increasing pressure on the country's leaders to give into his extortion scheme.

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