President Trump’s tweets banning transgender people from serving in the military set off a mad scramble at the Pentagon Wednesday morning, as officials raced to sort out the details after the surprise announcement.
It appeared initially that no one in the building had any idea that the president was unilaterally ending an Obama-era policy, which had allowed transgender troops to serve openly since last year and called for a plan to recruit transgender individuals to serve.
Skittish public affairs officers were afraid to talk to reporters, who pressed for details. Did Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who is on vacation, know about the president’s decision before it was announced? Did this mean thousands of transgender troops who were told they could serve openly would now be kicked out?
Asked about rumors that the Pentagon was blindsided about the announcement, one public affairs official told the Washington Examiner, “I think the reports are pretty accurate that no one knew. I certainly had no idea.”
Originally published by the Washington Examiner.