'Any Patriot That Wants to Serve and Meets All the Requirements Should Be Able to Serve in Our Military'
President Trump's newly-confirmed Secretary of the Navy opposes his ban on transgender service members. Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer Thursday night said while he will follow any command given by the Commander-in-Chief "any patriot" should be allowed to serve in the nation's armed forces, The Hill reports.
“We will process and take direction of a policy that is developed by the secretary [with] direction from the president and march out smartly,” Secretary Spencer told reporters after a visit to Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.
But he also respectfully expressed an opposing opinion on transgender soldiers.
"On a fundamental basis, any patriot that wants to serve and meets all the requirements should be able to serve in our military."
Spencer is not the only senior U.S. military official to oppose Trump's total ban on transgender service members, which has yet to be implemented after the President tweeted it out of the blue two weeks ago.
Last week the Coast Guard commandant, Admiral Paul Zukunft, expressed strong support for transgender service members.
"I will not turn my back," he recently told one transgender service member. "We have made an investment in you, and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith."
New polling released last week finds the vast majority, nearly seven out of 10 Americans (68%) support transgender people serving in the military.
The White House reportedly has approved "guidance policy" to implement the ban, but there apparently has been no movement on the document.
On Thursday, perhaps aware of the extreme backlash his ban has received, Trump pushed back.
Speaking of transgender people, Trump told reporters, "I have great respect for the community."
"I think I’ve had great support, or I’ve had great support from that community. I got a lot of votes," Trump falsely claimed. Only 14 percent of the LGBT community voted for him, far less than other GOP candidates.
Wrongly claiming "it’s been a very complicated issue for the military, it’s been a very confusing issue for the military," the president added, "I think I’m doing the military a great favor" by announcing the ban. That's actually false.
There's still time – join the more than 1000 people who have signed our petition: Tell President Trump You Support Our Transgender Service Members and Oppose His New Ban
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