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 McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ 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 MattisOvernight Defense: Trump identifies first soldier remains from North Korea | New cyber strategy lets US go on offense | Army chief downplays talk of 'Fort Trump' Pompeo backed continued US support in Yemen war over objections from staff: report Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges 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.