Republican Sen. John McCain, who recently returned to the U.S. Senate after announcing he has brain cancer, released a statement Wednesday slamming President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter to announce a ban on transgender people serving in the military.
“The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter,” McCain said.
A U.S. Senator, openly criticizing and battling with a same-party President is nothing less than combative in the otherwise reserved Senate that typically adopts a toned down, respectful decorum.
The President and McCain do not have a good relationship after years of antagonistic behavior towards each other.
The President on Wednesday morning tweeted that the U.S. Government “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
Before he was elected, President Trump went after McCain and said “he’s not a war hero,” referring to when McCain was captured by North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War.
McCain said Wednesday the President’s statement about transgender people being banned from the military was “unclear.”
“The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are.”
McCain continued, and said officials should wait until a Defense Department study is “thoroughly reviewed.”
“The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study on the medical obligations it would incur, the impact on military readiness, and related questions associated with the accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving in uniform and wish to join the military. I do not believe that any new policy decision is appropriate until that study is complete and thoroughly reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, our military leadership, and the Congress.”
“The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to follow closely and conduct oversight on the issue of transgender individuals serving in the military,” McCain added.