Mattis appalled by Trump tweets announcing transgender ban: report
Defense Secretary James Mattis was taken aback by the Trump president’s announcement that he banned trans people from serving in the military, according to a report in the New York Times.
Mattis, who was on vacation at the time of Trump’s decision, was given notice of just one day before Trump weaves the announcement of the policy, the paper reported.
The report was described as “horrified.”
Sources close to the defense secretary told the Times that Mattis was upset about the tweets and has considered it an insult to American transsexuals currently serving in the military.
Wednesday morning, Trump wrote on Twitter that “after consulting my generals and military experts, it was reported that the US government will not accept and will not allow trans people to serve in any military capability in the United States.”
“Our army must focus on a decisive and overwhelming victory and can not be overwhelmed by the huge medical expenses and disruption that transgender would cause in the military,” Trump said. “Thank you.”
A letter from the Joint Chiefs of Staff chief, General Joseph Dunford, said Thursday that politics can not be changed as long as the White House has not issued other “councils.”
“There will be no change in the current policy until the President’s address was received by the Secretary of Defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidelines,” Dunford said.
Mattis, according to the Times, was pushing Republicans by month to defeat an amendment led by the Republican Party in 2017 spending bill that would prevent the military from spending money for the transition from surgery or hormone therapy to transgender service members .
According to the report, Mattis initially resisted the policy that allows American transsexuals to serve in the armed forces, but admitted that the policy would remain in place.
His predecessor, former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter started the Trump administration for reversing the policy.
“Selection of service members for reasons other than military skills is social policy and does not take place in our armed forces,” Carter said in a statement. “There are already transsexual people who serve in a competent and honorable way.
“This action would also send the wrong signal to a younger generation thinking about military service.”
Carter was not the only critic of Trump’s announcement. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) Joined several colleagues to criticize the policy, and the decision to announce in tweets.
“There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train and deploy to leave the military – regardless of their gender identity,” McCain said Wednesday after the announcement.
He called Trump’s announcement “another example of why big policy ads should not be made on Twitter.”