Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley says the Army will ''act when we see directives through the proper chain of command channels,'' following President Trump's tweeted announcement that he's banning transgender personnel in the military. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley repeated what Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said earlier -- that there had been no change yet to Pentagon policy on transgender personnel, after President Donald Trump's announcement of his plans to ban them. "We'll act when we see directives through the proper chain of command channels and then we'll evaluate what we have and move out from there," said Milley at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.. Milley said 'in the meantime' the military will continue to treat every service member with dignity and respect. Trump issued his surprise announcement on Wednesday morning in a series of Twitter postings, saying he would ban transgender people from the U.S. military, a move appealing to some in his conservative political base but creating vast uncertainty for active-duty and reserve transgender service members, who say they number in the thousands. The action came on the same day that the Trump administration told a U.S. appeals court in New York that federal law does not ban discrimination against gay employees, a sharp reversal of the position Democratic former President Barack Obama took. As a presidential candidate, Trump last year vowed to fight for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. His decision drew condemnation from rights groups and some lawmakers in both parties as politically motivated discrimination. But it was also praised by conservative activists and some of his fellow Republicans. The White House said Trump had "extensive discussions with his national security team," and that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was informed after the president made the decision on Tuesday to go ahead.