WH Press Secretary Avoids Questions on Procedures to Oust Transgenders from Military

By Zenny Phuong | July 27, 2017 | 11:04 AM EDT

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot of C-SPAN video)

(CNSNews.com) – In a press briefing Wednesday, newly appointed White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders continuously avoided reporter’s questions regarding the next step in the process of removing currently active transgender military personnel from duty.

The briefing follows a series of tweets from President Trump about completely removing and barring transgenders from the military, reversing a policy by the Obama administration since last year to allow transgender service members to serve openly in the military.

“So what happens to transgender service members now?” asked a White House reporter in the briefing room. “Are they immediately thrown out of the military service?”

“That’s a thing that the Department of Defense and the White House will have to work together as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully,” Sanders said.

She defended the president’s position in his tweets, stating that it is based on “military reasons only,” and reinforced that the president wants to support all Americans, including those in the LGBTQ community, at all times.

“Obviously it was a very difficult decision, but one that the president feels is best for the military,” she said. “It’s not meant to be anything more than that.”

According to Sanders, President Trump came to the conclusion that it is “expensive and disruptive” to maintain transgender service members in active duty. The president also believes that it negatively affects military readiness and unit cohesion, she said.

“The president has expressed concerns since this Obama policy came into effect, but he’s also voiced that this is a very expensive and disruptive policy,” she said.

However, she did not answer whether current transgender military service members in active duty would be sent home immediately.

After several rounds of questions and repeated attempts by reporters to ask about this new policy, Sanders threatened to cut the briefing short if questions on the issue persist.

“Guys, I don’t have anything more to add on that topic. As I do, I’ll keep you posted, but if these are the only questions we have, I’m going to call it a day,” she said.