Top Story: Trump Announces Transgender Service Ban via Twitter

On Wednesday, President Trump announced on Twitter that transgender people will no longer be allowed to serve in the United States military:

The announcement, coming as it does via Twitter, does not have the force of law; according to a White House spokeswoman, the details of how to implement the ban will need to be worked out between the Pentagon and the White House. The move comes in the middle of an ongoing Pentagon study into the costs and issues surrounding transgender military service, prompting Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain to rebuke the President’s announcement as premature.

President Trump’s announcement was confusing on two levels. First, it flies in the face of several promises he made during the campaign: it seems odd to promise to “protect our LGBT citizens from a hateful foreign ideology” and then ban some of those same people from participating in their own protection. Second, the President cited the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” entailed by transgender service. But the costs are miniscule in the overall Defense Department healthcare budget, and with the Pentagon’s study ongoing any claim about disruption is on shaky ground.

The precise implementation of the ban, including a timeline, is unknown at this time.