In what was no doubt a helping of raw red meat to his ultraconservative base, President Donald Trump announced a major policy change for transgender members of the military. In a tweet Wednesday morning, Trump proposed reinstating a ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military "in any capacity." (Read his tweets below.)
As Vox noted, the move contradicts past vows he'd protect LGBTQ from discrimination. This measure, obviously, would constitute discrimination.
Transgender activists and advocates alike railed against the president in the wake of the tweets.
“On Wednesday, President Trump said he would ban transgender people from military service. It is alarming, unacceptable, and dangerous for the President of the United States to openly discriminate against transgender service members stationed around the world who willingly serve their country," said Equality Florida director of transgender inclusion Gina Leigh Duncan in a Facebook post.
"By “tweeting” that transgender people will not be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the US Military, this President is attacking thousands of brave and honorable transgender service members and veterans and sending a message to all transgender people that they are unfit to serve our country simply because of who they are."
She added that the fact that it was communicated via a tweet without warning early on Thursday was "especially heinous and harmful" to thousands of transgender members of the military.
"This morning, those 15,000 patriotic transgender people woke up to learn that their Commander-in-Chief called them a "burden" and a "disruption" via a string of tweets. Countless trans people have bravely fought and died for our country, while Trump received five deferments from the Vietnam war draft. The contrast could not be more striking," Duncan continued. "To transgender service members and veterans, we stand with you. You have demonstrated a greater love, commitment, and sacrifice for this country than our current President ever has. He is wrong, again. We must stand together to prevent the clock from being turned back by ignorance and bigotry.”
"It is a matter of leadership," said Beck, 51, who lived in St. Petersburg and while serving at U.S. Special Operations Command, which is based at MacDill. "As a leader, I could take a Muslim and a bible-thumping Christian and have them work together with no problems. They would serve with honor together and do a great job."
(Read more of Beck's comments to media here.)
The tweet comes during a week where Trump is facing criticism for an inflammatory speech at a Boy Scouts of America convention, a growing feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and growing controversy and controversy over the possible repeal of Obamacare, among other things.