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Mattis Was Reportedly 'Appalled' By Trump's Surprise Military Transgender Ban Tweets
When President Donald Trump tweeted his reversal of the Obama-era decision to allow transgender people to openly serve in the military on Wednesday, his secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, was on vacation and appalled by the move, according to the New York Times.
Mattis apparently only had one day's notice about the proposed transgender ban, which he had labored over for months while evaluating how to implement the Obama policy.
Sources close to Mattis told the Times that he was "appalled" by Trump's rollout of the transgender ban, which shocked many in the Pentagon and left active-duty transgender service people unsure of their fate.
Trump's decision to "not accept or allow" transgender service people comes after Obama essentially invited them to come forward and openly express their gender identity. It also follows a 2016 study commissioned by the Pentagon that found that transgender inclusion would have “have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs” for the 1.4 million strong US military.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump made the move to protect "military readiness and unit cohesion," and that the White House would work with the Pentagon to implement the policy "lawfully."
But multiple congressional sources told Politico that Trump actually rushed the decision to nail down the last few remaining votes on a $790 billion spending bill that included money for a border wall, one of Trump's first campaign promises.
When infighting between House GOP representatives threatened to derail the spending bill if it didn't prohibit spending defense funds on treatment for transgender service people, some representatives sought out Trump to take care of the problem via executive action, according to Politico.
Trump responded by not only suspending funding, but announcing a complete ban on transgender service.
"This is like someone told the White House to light a candle on the table and the [White House] set the whole table on fire,” a senior House Republican aide told Politico.
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GENEVA/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would back the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies that Washington fears may be under threat by Iran.
Worries about a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks last week on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane at the entrance to the Gulf. Washington blamed long-time foe Iran for the incidents.
Tehran denies responsibility but the attacks, and similar ones in May, have further soured relations that have plummeted since Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Trump has restored and extended U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. That has forced countries around the world to boycott Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
But in an interview with Time magazine, Trump, striking a different tone from some Republican lawmakers who have urged a military approach to Iran, said last week's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman had only a "very minor" impact so far.
Asked if he would consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or to ensure the free flow of oil through the Gulf, Trump said: "I would certainly go over nuclear weapons and I would keep the other a question mark."
Minnesota Democratic Party staffer under fire for calling USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul a 'murder boat'
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday he is appalled by a state DFL Party staff member's tweet referring to the recently-launched USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul as a "murder boat."
"Certainly, the disrespect shown is beyond the pale," said Walz, who served in the Army National Guard.
William Davis, who has been the DFL Party's research director and deputy communications director, made the controversial comment in response to a tweet about the launch of a new Navy combat ship in Wisconsin: "But actually, I think it's gross they're using the name of our fine cities for a murder boat," Davis wrote on Twitter over the weekend.
'We are there to deter aggression' — Pompeo addressed CENTCOM on Iran mere moments before Shanahan announced his departure
TAMPA — Minutes before the Acting Secretary of Defense withdrew Tuesday from his confirmation process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at MacDill Air Force Base about the need to coordinate "diplomatic and defense efforts'' to address rising tensions with Iran.
Pompeo, who arrived in Tampa on Monday, met with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. and Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commanders of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command respectively, to align the Government's efforts in the Middle East, according to Central Command.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will "not to go forward with his confirmation process."
Trump said that Army Secretary Mark Esper will now serve as acting defense secretary.