On 26 July 2017, President Trump announced a ban on transgender members in serving in the military. The sudden announcement took his defense secretary and Republican congressional leaders by storm. He made the announcement on Twitter, saying:
According to Trump before making this decision he had consulted generals and military experts, but the defense secretary Jim Mattis was only given a day’s notice regarding the decision. Trump announced the ban in order to solve a silently growing conflict on Capitol Hill over whether taxpayer money should compensate for gender transition and hormone therapy for transgender service members. The conflict had threatened to eradicate a $790 billion security and defense spending package reserved for a vote this week.
Mr. Trump decided to overturn the policy on transgender service members, rather than speaking about the issue. The decision was announced abruptly that the White House was not able to answer basic questions about how the decision would be carried out, and what would happen to openly transgender individuals on active duty. Out of the eight defense officials interviewed, none of them could answer the questions.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said: “That’s something that the Department of Defense and the White House will have to work together as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully.”
Civil rights and transgender advocacy nexus denounced the policy. Whereas, some vowed to challenge it in court. Pentagon officials were not happy that the president’s tweets could open them to lawsuits. The ban would change the gradual changes of the military under President Barack Obama, whose administration last year declared that transgender individuals could serve openly in the military. Ashton B. Carter who was Mr. Obama’s defense secretary also opened all combat roles to women and appointed the first openly gay Army secretary.