White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday would not say whether transgender individuals currently serving in the U.S. military will be thrown out after President Donald Trump announced a ban on allowing transgender individuals to serve “in any capacity.”
“That’s something that the Department of Defense and the White House will have to work together as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully,” Sanders said during the daily White House briefing. “I would imagine the Department of Defense will be the lead on that and keep you posted as that takes place.”
She said Trump announced the ban “based on a military decision,” though the President previously claimed he would work on policy to help the LGBT community.
“It’s not meant to be anything more than that,” Sanders said. “And it’s simply about — obviously it’s a very difficult decision. It’s not a simple one.”
Asked whether those questions should have been answered before Trump announced the blanket ban in a series of tweets, Sanders said the President informed his national security team of the decision just one day before he announced it.
“When the President made the decision yesterday, the secretary of defense was immediately informed, as were the rest of the national security team,” she said. “I think sometimes you have to make decisions and once he made a decision, he didn’t feel it was necessary to hold that decision.”