Friday, July 28, 2017

Politico -- Pentagon takes no steps to enforce Trump's transgender ban

Marine General Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there will be no changes to the military’s transgender policy as a result of President Donald Trump’s tweet declaring a ban on transgender men and women. He said that the military will continue to “treat all of our personnel with respect.”

The Pentagon is waiting for White House guidance on enforcing President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender people from the armed forces. Trump’s tweet can’t be enforced on its own merit. The President can’t change policy with a tweet.

If Trump officially orders the ban, as is, and without modification, the military says it would kick out thousands who just a year ago were told they could serve openly.

“The White House will work with the Department of Defense and all of the relevant parties to make sure that we fully implement this policy moving forward and do so in a lawful manner," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

However, could Trump’s tweets be feelers, testing the waters, if you will -- his own personal leak on contemplated policy -- just to see what reactions there would be.

On the other hand, Trump’s sudden decision to ban transgender people from military service could be because of Republican threats to tank funding increases in the defense authorization bill, which included Mexican border wall construction. A kerfuffle broke out because of disagreements over finding enough money in the bill by cutting funding for gender reassignment surgeries and treatments for transgender active-duty personnel in order to fund the wall. Hence, Trump’s transgender ban would take care of the problem

Trump’s reasoning could be either one or both. If so, perhaps Trump will “just sit on it” with no official Pentagon directive forthcoming.

By Bryan Bender And Jacqueline Klimas