House Minority Leader Nancy
Pelosi (D-Calif.) (Valley News)
(CNSNews.com) – For the second day in a row, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) harshly criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate the ban against transgenders serving in the military, calling the step “appalling” and beneath the office of the president.
At a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday, a reporter asked about House members meeting with Trump on the issue and whether this tactic is something Democrats would emulate.
Saying she was not aware of GOP House members meeting with Trump before he announced his decision on the ban, Leader Pelosi nonetheless said of the policy change, “It’s appalling, the disrespect. The lack of acknowledgement of the contribution these people make, that’s one thing.”
“But to deal with it in a manner that was undignified, unworthy of these people, unworthy of the office of commander-in-chief,” Pelosi said.
After some further comments about military service and the Civil Rights Act, Pelosi again said of Trump’s decision, “It’s really shameful. Our country has always been about expanding opportunity, expanding freedom.”
“Now we have this backward embarrassing step,” she said. “It’s a really very sad thing, it’s a very sad thing.”
Prior to President Obama’s 2016 implementation of the revised military policy, transgendered individuals were prohibited from serving in any capacity, even during the years 2009-2015 when Obama was president.
The ban was lifted by Obama on June 30, 2016.
According to the Rand Corporation, somewhere between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people are on active duty out of a total 1.3 million service members. Thus, transgenders comprise somewhere between 0.1% and 0.5% of the active military.
In light of the controversy over the ban, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and top U.S. General Joseph Dunford wrote a letter to the military service chiefs on Thursday explaining that until the White House sends the Defense Department an official rules change on paper and the Secretary of Defense issues new guidelines, the policy dictating who is allowed to serve will not change.
Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin (ret.), one of the founders of Delta Force, said on Facebook, “To say that I am pleased to see #PresidentTrump put a stop to this #transgender madness in the #military would be an understatement. It is another indicator to me that our new #President is truly focused on #militaryreadiness.
“The transgender policy as designed contributed nothing to that readiness. Mr. #Trump is a practical man. Many of his decisions are based on that common sense approach to things.”