House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tore into President Trump on Saturday for directing the Pentagon to ban transgender individuals from entering the military.
Pelosi wrote on Twitter that Trump’s “cruel decision to kick transgender troops out of the military is driven by nothing than pure prejudice.”
.@realDonaldTrump’s cruel decision to kick transgender troops out of the military is driven by nothing than pure prejudice.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) August 26, 2017
Other Democrats such as Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), an Army veteran, and Republicans including Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), who chairs the Armed Services Committee, have criticized the directive from Trump released Friday.
McCain argued that “it would be a step in the wrong direction to force currently serving transgender individuals to leave the military solely on the basis of their gender identity rather than medical and readiness standards that should always be at the heart of Department of Defense personnel policy.”
Meanwhile, Duckworth called the ban on transgender individuals enlisting in the armed forces “disruptive” and said it would harm military readiness.
“If the President enacts this ban, which would harm our military readiness, the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who oppose this discrimination must enact legislation that prevents it from taking effect,” Duckworth said Friday.
Trump signed a memo Friday evening directing the Pentagon to bar transgender individuals from entering the armed forces, while instructing Secretary of Defense James Mattis to further explore how to handle those already in the armed forces.
The memo calls for the Pentagon to develop an implementation plan for the ban by February 2018, allowing it to take effect the following month.