At a New Hampshire rally, Trump falsely cited consultations with military figures to support his plan for a transgender military ban.
Reaffirmed Commitment to Ban on Transgender Service Members
Addressing a gathering of fervent supporters at a Windham, New Hampshire high school gymnasium, former President Donald Trump reaffirmed his commitment to reinstating a ban on transgender service members should he return to the White House.
He Referred to Them as ‘It’
Trump’s statement, laden with misrepresentations, particularly stood out as he referred to the approximately 15,000 transgender individuals currently serving their country in the military as “it.”
“You Know, We Had It Banned”
“I’ll also restore the Trump ban on transgender in the military – we’re going to add that. You know, we had it banned. We had it banned,” Trump proclaimed, eliciting cheers from the crowd.
He Recalls Previous Conversations
Narrating an anecdote meant to bolster his stance, Trump recounted conversations with military generals.
He Said He Talked to the General
He claimed to have asked them, “‘General, off the record what do you think of transgender?’ ‘Sir, is anybody listening sir?'”
This Narrative Doesn’t Add Up
This narrative runs contrary to reports that he had not consulted with U.S. military generals before announcing the ban on July 26, 2017, via a series of tweets.
“‘What do you think?'” Trump continued, attributing the query to his supposed discussions.
“They’re All Afraid to Talk About It”
“‘I don’t like it, sir.’ And then I’d say to another one, ‘You know, they’re all afraid to talk about it, but you know, I had to do what’s right. You have to do what’s right.”
His Tweets From That Day
Unsurprisingly, Trump’s account diverges from reality. His tweets from that fateful day read, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.
Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
Not a Single Aspect Was True
A comprehensive analysis revealed that not a single aspect of Trump’s statement held true.
His Claims Were Unsubstantiated
He had bypassed discussions with his generals and military experts. The assertion that transgender service members impose significant medical costs or disruptions was unsubstantiated.
One Man Was Heavily Influential
This decision to reinstate the ban had been heavily influenced by Tony Perkins, the head of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, who successfully advocated for the move.
Pushing for the Ban
Intriguingly, Trump later appointed Perkins to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Vice President Mike Pence and Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a prominent conspiracy theorist, were also instrumental in pushing for the ban’s announcement and enactment.
More People Wanted the Ban
Mark Meadows, then-Congressman and later Trump’s White House chief of staff, played a substantial role in championing the transgender military ban.
Biden Revoked the Ban in 2021
Ultimately, President Joe Biden revoked this ban on January 25, 2021, within days of assuming office, signaling a shift in policy and inclusivity within the U.S. Armed Forces.
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