In a morning tweetfest, the President
The U.S. government will no longer allow transgender military service “in any capacity.” President Trump announced the ban in a series of tweets yesterday morning. Saying the U.S. military must be "focused on decisive and overwhelming victory," Trump argued that the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption" that transgender service in the military would entail.
The President said he made the decision after consulting with U.S. generals and "military experts." And that’s interesting because Pentagon officials are not talking about the announced ban as though they knew about it in advance. In fact, a statement refers all questions about the President's statement to the White House. It says the Pentagon will continue to work closely with the White House to "address the new guidance" on transgendered people serving in the military.
Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter is criticizing Trump's announced ban. The Obama administration opened the door to transgender service when Carter was defense chief. In a statement today, Carter said there are "transgender individuals serving capably and honorably" in the armed forces. He argued that Trump's announcement sends the "wrong signal to a younger generation thinking about military service.”
- White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders is defending President Trump's ban. In a press briefing, Sanders said the decision was based on what is best for the military and is "not meant to be anything more than that." She said Trump made his decision after extensive consultations with his national security team. Sanders said the President has become concerned that Obama-era transgender policies were eroding military readiness and "unit cohesion." Sanders brushed off reports that the Pentagon was caught flat-footed by the news. She said Defense Secretary James Mattis was informed about the decision before it was announced.
- As for how this ban will be implemented, that's another question - Mr. Trump hasn't issued an Executive Order, a Presidential Memoranda or anything official. And that's something else that Sanders hasn't addressed.
- ONE MORE THING! As for the President’s comment about the costs related to medical care for transgendered troops, a number of outlets have pointed out an interesting fact: the military spends five times as much on Viagra as it would on transgender troops’ medical care. In numerical terms, that amounts to a 0.13-percent increase in medical care (potentially going from $2.4-million and $8.4-million). Conversely, the military spends $41.6-million annually on Viagra alone.
Source: President Trump