President Trump’s White House has reached out to the Pentagon to begin drafting official guidance to ban transgender people from serving in the military, a Department of Defense (DOD) spokesman confirmed to The Hill.
“We have conversations back and forth all the time with the White House in a variety of channels and those conversations are starting to happen on the issue,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters at the Pentagon.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump declared on Twitter last week. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [sic] in the military would entail. Thank you.”
A day after Trump’s Twitter decree, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a statement that “the policy on who is allowed to serve would not change until the White House sends the Defense Department new rules and the secretary of defense issues new guidelines.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis said that Department of Defense officials are waiting for that directive “to be formerly articulated to us in a policy memo.”
“We will await formal direction and … once we get that we would provide implementing guidance and implement accordingly. But that’s not happened yet,” Davis said.
The Hill notes: “When pressed on whether top Pentagon officials believe an official directive will be coming, Davis said that ‘we have no reason not to believe we are’ getting it.”