Chelsea Manning Slams Trump’s Trans Soldier Ban: ‘Sounds Like Cowardice’

Tim Travers Hawkins/Courtesy of Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, on Wednesday pushed back on President Donald Trump’s announced plan to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

“So, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people but funds the F-35?” Manning asked in a characteristically emoji-filled tweet. “Sounds like cowardice.”

The F-35 Lightning II Program, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter Program, develops high-tech fighter jets. Plagued with engineering problems and about seven years behind schedule, the program has been blasted as a trillion-dollar mistake, according to Bloomberg.

Manning responded to a tweet from conservative commentator Tomi Lahren that said “The military is not about the wants of the individual, it’s about the mission” by asking, “What mission is that? Wasting money on dysfunctional equipment and greedy contractors?”

In 2010, Manning came out as a trans woman the day after she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending thousands of classified records to Wikileaks. She reportedly faced humiliating abuse from the prison workers over her gender identity and attempted to commit suicide several times.

The Army granted Manning gender-affirming surgery in 2016 after her five-day hunger strike.

After a commutation from President Barack Obama, Manning was released from prison in June after serving seven years of her sentence.