Huckabee Sanders: Transgender Military Ban 'Based on a Military Decision'

July 26, 2017

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a press conference Wednesday that President Donald Trump's ban on transgender Americans in the military "is based on a military decision."

Many questions in Wednesday's press conference centered on Trump's announcement on Twitter, which came without an accompanying Department of Defense press release.

"Why did he decide to do this given that during the campaign he had declared that he would protect the rights of transgender individuals? He said he would be better on this issue than Hillary Clinton and now he's turned the clock back on this issue regarding the military," one reporter asked.

"The president has a lot of support for all Americans and certainly wants to protect all Americans at all times," Sanders said.

"The president's expressed concerns since this Obama policy came into effect, but he's also voiced that this is a very comprehensive and disruptive policy, and based on consultation that he's had with his national security team, came to the conclusion that it erodes military readiness and unit cohesion and made the decision based on that," she continued.

"Does this shift in policy protect transgender Americans, and what is the message that he is attempting to send to them by making this shift in policy?" another reporter asked.

"On that, the decision is based on a military decision. It's not meant to be anything more than that. And it's simply about—obviously, it's a very difficult decision. It's not a simple one. But the president feels that it's the best one for the military," Sanders said.

Sanders said she would keep the press posted on implementation plans as they became available.