Congress asks Trump for proof that military supported trans ban

Congress has demanded that Donald Trump provide proof for his claims that generals support his contentious ban on transgender people in the military.

President Trump abruptly announced on Twitter earlier this year that transgender people would be banned from serving in the military.

He wrote:  “After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military.”

He claimed: “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Despite his claims that the decision was taken “after consultation with my generals”, insider sources maintain that the Pentagon was not consulted, and that Trump made the decision to appease anti-LGBT Republicans who had been moving on the issue in Congress.

As Donald Trump’s Defense Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis pushes ahead with the administration’s plans to ban transgender people from the military, Democrats this week demanded Trump substantiate his claim.

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

114 Members of Congress this week signed a letter requesting the White House release any correspondence with the Pentagon and military officials that took place prior to the announcement.

It says: “We request information about what discussions or correspondence between the White House and the Pentagon, if any, led President Trump to make his assertion.

“If senior military or Department of Defense personnel asked that the president ban transgender individuals from military service, we request access to any letters, e-mails, telephone transcripts, meeting logs and minutes. or other materials that document such requests.

“If the Department has records of any other discussions that might have justified the president’s claim, we request to see those materials, as well.

“We seek access to these materials in order to determine whether the president, his national security team, and military leaders are actively coordinating policy with one another, or whether the president’s transgender ban announcement reflected a breakdown in communication.

“As you know, clear communication between the White House and the Pentagon is essential to our nation’s security.

“We thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to receiving your reply. ”

(Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Tellingly, all 114 of the signatories are Democrats. Not a single Republican lawmaker has signed the letter asking to see evidence.

Speaking of Republican silence, the Democrats were the only party to mark National Coming Out Day today.

DNC Chair Tom Perez and DNC LGBT Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes said: “Today, on National Coming Out Day, we celebrate the fact that love is love and are resolute in our belief that all people deserve to be treated with dignity.

“We remember a time not long ago when living openly as a member of the LGBTQ community was nearly impossible. And we honor those who have fought and struggled to advance the cause of true equality.

“Even more importantly, we welcome and embrace those who are openly LGBTQ, those who choose to come out today, and those who are still unable to live openly.

“Unfortunately, this year’s celebration is clouded by a presidency that is openly hostile to LGBTQ people. Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and their administration began attacking the LGBTQ community on their first day in office.

“They retracted the Department of Education’s guidance on transgender students, abandoned America’s global leadership role on LGBTQ rights, proposed cuts to HIV/AIDS testing and care, and just last week reinterpreted the law to give businesses a license to discriminate.

“Democrats are committed to fighting this administration’s anti-LGBTQ actions tooth and nail. We will redouble our efforts to protect the progress we’ve made. And we wish all Americans a happy Coming Out Day.”