McCain: 'Step in the wrong direction' to force transgender people out of military

McCain: 'Step in the wrong direction' to force transgender people out of military

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainHow House Republicans scrambled the Russia probe The Hill's 12:30 Report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration MORE (R-Ariz.) warned Friday against any plans to push transgender people from the military following new guidance from President Trump.

McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said "it would be a step in the wrong direction to force currently serving transgender individuals to leave the military solely on the basis of their gender identity rather than medical and readiness standards that should always be at the heart of Department of Defense personnel policy."

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"The Pentagon’s ongoing study on this issue should be completed before any decisions are made with regard to accession. The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to conduct oversight on this important issue," he added in a statement.

Trump signed a memo Friday instructing the Defense Department to stop accepting transgender individuals who want to enlist in the military, while instructing Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisMattis receives honorary doctorate from international affairs school Overnight Defense: Over 500 amendments proposed for defense bill | Measures address transgender troops, Yemen war | Trump taps acting VA chief as permanent secretary Defense bill amendment would protect open transgender military service MORE to explore how to handle those currently in the armed forces.

The memo requests the Pentagon develop a plan to implement the ban by February 2018, to be put in place the following month. Trump first announced the ban in a tweet last month.