U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday said he fully supports President Donald Trump's idea to hold a military parade as long as it does not become a "Soviet style" display of military strength.
"I'm not looking for a Soviet-style hardware display. That's not who we are, it's kind of cheesy and I think it shows weakness, quite frankly," the South Carolina Republican told CNN. "But to have a parade where we can display our finest and we can all say thank you and honor them, would be fine."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday confirmed Trump's parade request, saying Trump wants the Pentagon to "explore a celebration" that would allow Americans to show appreciation for the military.
Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said showing appreciation is the key.
"The idea of saying thank you through a parade makes sense. The idea of showing muscle through a parade, I think, is counter to what we're about and would actually be a sign of weakness, not strength," Graham told CNN.
Graham's remarks on CNN echoed what he had tweeted earlier in the day.
My hope is this parade will not focus on military hardware, but on military service, sacrifice, and saying ‘Thank You” to those who protect our nation.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 7, 2018
But Twitter was also where his words were taken out of context.
A CNN Congressional reporter tweeted that Graham had called Trump's parade idea "kind of cheesy and shows weakness." But that's not what Graham was referring to in the interview.
Just spoke to Lindsey Graham who offered some criticism of military parades after the WH called for one. He said there’s nothing wrong with having a parade to celebrate the military but said to have a parade to show military might is “kind of cheesy and a sign of weakness.”— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 7, 2018
As the shares on the erroneous tweet climbed into the hundreds, Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop chimed in to clarify.
"He supports military parade. Says should focus on service and sacrifice, not military hardware," Bishop tweeted.
Democrats have already pushed back on the parade, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.
"Take the money you want to spend on a military parade and invest it in our troops, veterans, and military families. Otherwise, it would be just a colossal waste of taxpayer money," the Illinois Democrat tweeted.