Trump fancies himself a king, issuing royal decrees from on high via Twitter. Today’s heinous, hateful announcement that he’d no longer be allowing transgender Americans to serve openly in the military was just the latest example of him spontaneously creating policy through the social network.
Buzzfeed’s senior national security correspondent reported that the Pentagon is less than pleased with Trump’s style of leadership:
Overheard at the Pentagon: "We're taking orders via Twitter now?"
— Nancy Youssef, نانسى (@nancyayoussef) July 26, 2017
Apparently, Trump either came up with his idiotic new ban and immediately tweeted it out, or he planned it with his cronies and failed to tell the Pentagon.
Regardless of how despicable, ignorant, counterproductive, and bigoted Trump’s transgender military ban is, one would at the very least expect he would have communicated his plans to the Pentagon. The Department of Defense has a more than reasonable expectation to be looped in on decisions affecting them.
McClatchy confirms that the Pentagon was blindsided by Trump’s Twitter announcement. In response to numerous calls from concerned parties and reporters, the Pentagon simply directed all parties to “call the White House.” It seems they want nothing to do with Trump’s divisive politicking.
“We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the commander-in-chief on transgender individuals serving in the military,” Jeff Davis, a spokesperson for the Pentagon said in a statement today. His choice of the word “address” rather than “enforce” seems to indicate a reluctance, if not outright distaste for embracing the ban.
In coming days, Trump will certainly try to justify his gross decision by saying it’s in the interest of national security. He will try to paint opponents of the ban as being “politically correct” and compromising the country’s safety. The truth is that transgender people are valuable members of our military. Trump is trying to politicize their service to rile up his base, and he must be opposed at every step.