- The former Navy SEAL who says he killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden called President Donald Trump's idea for a military parade in Washington "third world bulls---."
- Rob O'Neill's criticisms echoed others who say such a parade is more suited to countries like North Korea, Russia and China, and would be expensive.
- The Pentagon said the parade is in the initial planning stage, with no firm details yet.
Robert O'Neill's scathing dismissal Thursday of Trump's desired parade featuring soldiers, tanks and other military hardware came as a Pentagon spokeswoman said that march is still in the initial planning stage.
"We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation," O'Neill tweeted.
O'Neill's scorn echoes others who are skeptical of Trump wanting to spend millions of dollars to put on the kind of ostentatious display of military might that is more typically seen in authoritarian or totalitarian countries such as Russia, China and North Korea.
The last time a military parade was held in Washington was in June 1991, to celebrate the U.S. victory in Operation Desert Shield, or the first Gulf War.
The Washington Post revealed Tuesday that the Pentagon is moving forward with plans for "a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America's armed forces." Those plans were set in motion after Trump said he wanted such a parade like the one he had seen in Paris last year during France's Bastille Day celebrations.
O'Neill, 41, was a member of the elite U.S. special forces team that was sent to bin Laden's compound in Pakistan in 2011. The mission ended with the al-Qaeda leader's death, a decade after the 9/11 terror attacks that he had orchestrated.
In a 2014 interview with Fox News, where he is now a contributor, O'Neill said it was "just luck" that he was the man who ended up fatally shooting bin Laden.
"Standing on two feet in front of me, with his hands on his wife's shoulders behind her was the face that I'd seen thousands of times," O'Neill said in that interview. "Very quickly I recognized him and then it was just pop, pop pop."
"I was standing above him when he took his last breath and I heard it audibly," said O'Neill.
At the Pentagon on Thursday, chief spokeswoman Dana White was asked who would pay for the parade, which would require the shipment of large pieces of armaments. Military officials have said they are strapped for funds.
White did not directly answer that question, but said, "With respect to the parade, right now we are still in initial planning stages." She implied that the location of the parade was not firmed up, although Trump has mentioned that he wants one in the nation's capital.
"The president often looks for opportunities to honor and appreciate our service members," White said. "We are looking at several different options. Right now the Army is the executive agent on it. But we don't have those options yet. We're still in the nascent stages."
Asked if there were other things that might be done instead of the parade to honor the military, White said, "Again, there are several options that are possible."
"But the bottom line is we want to honor our service members. When we have those options, we will provide that to the White House and the president will decide."
Earlier this week, when asked about the parade, Trump's fellow Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told ABC News: "I don't think it's a particularly good idea. Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud."
And Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told the network: "When you're the most powerful nation in all of human history, you don't have to show it off, like Russia does, and North Korea, and China.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said that a parade like that in Washington would be a "fantastic waste of money to amuse the president."