Mattis to recommend Trump allow transgender troops stay in the military: report

Mattis to recommend Trump allow transgender troops stay in the military: report
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Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns | Plan would reportedly bring troops in Afghanistan back by Election Day | Third service member dies from COVID-19 Trump wants troops in Afghanistan back stateside by Election Day: report 'Never Trump' Republicans: Fringe, or force to be reckoned with? MORE is expected to recommend to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? MORE that he allow transgender troops to remain in the military. 

Mattis will reportedly voice his support for allowing transgender troops to remain in the U.S. military in a meeting with President Trump this week, officials with knowledge of the issue told The Washington Post

Mattis and Trump were scheduled to meet Wednesday, but the meeting was postponed. 

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Trump announced in a series of tweets last July that he would bar transgender individuals from serving in the military. He later issued a memo that barred the enlistment of new transgender recruits and prohibited the Defense Department from paying for gender affirmation surgery. 

The memo allowed for Mattis to determine how to deal with transgender service members already in the military.

Several courts have since blocked or partially blocked the ban, allowing the military to accept transgender recruits starting Jan. 1.

Mattis's recommendation on the issue was expected by Feb. 21. 

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Thursday that Mattis will provide his recommendation to Trump this week. 

“This is a complex issue, and the secretary is taking his time to consider the information he has been given,” she said. “It’s an important issue, and, again, he sees all of his decisions through the lens of lethality. And as you said, it was a self-imposed deadline.”

Updated 4:55 p.m.