White House to brief Pentagon on transgender ban details: report

White House to brief Pentagon on transgender ban details: report
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The White House is almost ready to issue guidance to the Pentagon on the implementation of President Trump's proposal to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that a White House memo will direct the Defense Department on details related to Trump's intention to bar transgender people from joining the military. 

Under the new policy, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Mattis open to meeting with Russian defense chief: report Overnight Defense: Fears rise over Trump-Putin summit | McCain presses Trump to hold Putin 'accountable' for hacking | Pentagon does damage control after NATO meet MORE would have to consider a service member's ability to deploy in deciding whether to remove them from the military. 

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Trump announced via Twitter last month that he would reinstate a ban on transgender military service that was lifted last year under former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump has the right foreign policy strategy — he just needs to stop talking The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump faces bipartisan criticism over Putin presser, blames media for coverage Wall Street Journal editorial board rips Trump on Helsinki: It was a 'national embarrassment' MORE

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had clarified that there would be no practical modifications to Pentagon policies until the White House issued detailed guidance on the reimplemented ban.

“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,” Trump tweeted.

The president said at the time that he had made the determination after consulting with his "generals and military expert." The announcement, however, reportedly took Pentagon officials by surprise. Several members of the military openly opposed the decision. 

The Pentagon said after Trump’s announcement that its policies would not change until the White House issued new guidance.

A Rand Corp. study commissioned last year estimated that there are between 1,320 and 1,600 transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military.

The announcement drew bipartisan condemnation, including from Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainPence, Pompeo urged Trump to clarify Russia remarks: report GOP lawmaker renews call for Trump to release tax returns after Putin summit House conservatives criticize media, not Trump, for Putin furor MORE (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who admonished Trump for making such a proclamation on Twitter and defended transgender military service.

“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," he said in a statement.