Republican Senators Are Openly Defying Trump On Transgender Military Ban

Trump’s announcement of a transgender military ban has gone over like a lead balloon among his fellow Republicans who are opening breaking with their president on the policy.

Here is what 83-year-old Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said:

Sen. John McCain also went off on Trump:

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.

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.

The office of Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst released a statement:

ernst trans

Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama said that everyone should be given the opportunity to serve:

Trump thought he was “winning,” but instead has caused a political disaster for himself that has resulted in Republicans fleeing from him. Trump has no sway in DC. He doesn’t speak for big segments of his own party. Trump continues to find new ways to narrow his own base of support. Judging from the Republican reaction, Senators are distancing themselves from the unpopular president.