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REPORT: Heads of US Military ‘Had No Idea’ About Trump’s Transgender Ban, One Was Told by Staffer

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One Likely Accurate Conclusion: The President Lied When He Said He Had Consulted With His Generals

The heads of the branches of the U.S. military were “blindsided” by President Donald Trump’s tweets announcing a total ban on an estimated 15,000 service members who are transgender.

“One of the heads of the military branches was informed by a staffer of the President’s tweets on transgender policy and had no idea it was coming,” CNN reports, citing a U.S. defense official. 

CNN does note that a “US official told CNN that [Defense Secretary James] Mattis was consulted on Trump’s plan to announce a transgender military ban.” Mattis (photo: right) is currently on vacation.

The Secretary of Defense is not a general; the position is by law a civilian one. 

CNN also posted this tweet, effectively questioning the honesty of Trump’s tweet:

Late Thursday morning Reuters broke a story quoting the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who said in a memo that there will be no changes to U.S. policy on transgender service members until he receives explicit direction from the Commander-in-Chief. 

Also late Thursday morning, USA TODAY reported Vice Admiral Robert Burke, the Chief of Naval Personnel, sent an email stating transgender service members can continue on as usual, at least for now.

USA TODAY obtained the email and reports the “Navy will not immediately discharge transgender sailors and will continue to provide them with medical treatment despite the tweets fired off by President Trump on Wednesday.”

The paper adds: “The email from Vice Adm. Robert Burke also acknowledges that Trump’s announcement is ‘causing concern for some of our sailors and that they likely have questions.'”

All of this leads to one likely accurate conclusion: The president lied when he said he had consulted with his generals. 

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

Trump’s claim transgender soldiers cannot be in the armed forces because the cost of their care is “tremendous” is not only false, it’s mathematically inaccurate.

USA TODAY notes, “any saving Trump hoped to achieve by denying transgender troops medical care will be dwarfed by the cost of replacing them. Hundreds of troops have identified themselves as transgender in order to receive medical treatment, including about 150 sailors in the Navy, according to two U.S. officials who were not authorized to speak publicly about medical issues.”

Replacing those 6,600 transgender troops would likely be far more costly. The Army, for example, is spending $300 million this year on bonuses and ads to recruit 6,000 soldiers. That does not include the money needed to train, equip and pay them.

The RAND Corporation has determined the medical costs for transitioning transgender service members is at most $8.4 million annually.

RELATED STORIES:

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Says No Change to Transgender Service Members Policy Until Direction From Trump

One Day Before Trump Banned Trans Soldiers Log Cabin Republicans Called President a ‘Quiet Ally’ and a ‘Do No Harm Guy’

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Uses Debunked DADT Claims of ‘Military Readiness and Cohesion’ to Justify Trump Trans Military Ban

Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee on Trump’s Total Transgender Ban: Not So Fast

UPDATING: Pentagon Policy on Trump Total Ban of All Transgender Service Members: ‘Call the White House’

Trump Administration Official Admits Decision Banning All Transgender Service Members Is Purely Political

BREAKING: Trump Announces Total Ban on Transgender Service Members

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Image: DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro via Flickr

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

DeSantis Hires New Surgeon General: A Hydroxychloroquine-Pushing Physician Who Appeared in ‘Demon Sperm’ Doc’s Video

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Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, responsible for one of the worst COVID-19 responses in the nation, has just announced his new Surgeon General, Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD, a UCLA Medical Center physician and health policy researcher who appeared in the viral “Demon Sperm” quack doctor’s video that advocated the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.

Dr. Ladapo appears to be anti-mask, pro-ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, and against mass vaccinating the public against the coronavirus which to date has now killed over 675,000 Americans.

For example, in one of his many op-eds, mostly published in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Lapado says it’s “reasonable” for parents to not want to, or to be skeptical of vaccinating their children. In February he hinted that the vaccine might not be safe for pregnant women, calling for “humility about areas of uncertainty—such as vaccination in pregnant women.” CDC guidance now urges them to be vaccinated. Studies show pregnant women who contract coronavirus are 10, 15, and even 22 times more likely to die if unvaccinated.

“Tools for stopping variants are limited and, like masks and distancing, vaccines are not a panacea,” Dr. Ladapo also wrote in February.

In an April op-ed, “An American Epidemic of ‘Covid Mania’,” he wrote: “The problem isn’t only the overreaction to the virus but the diminution of every other problem.”

In June he asked, “Are Covid Vaccines Riskier Than Advertised?” despite billions of people worldwide having been vaccinated with almost no lasting negative side effects.

Dr. Ladapo appeared in a viral video social media companies removed from their platforms in 2020, a video that received millions of views in part thanks to then-President Donald Trump. It featured “a group that has dubbed itself America’s Frontline Doctors, standing on the steps of the Supreme Court and claiming that neither masks nor shutdowns are necessary to fight the pandemic, despite a plethora of expertise to the contrary,” as The Washington Post reported.

The lead physician, Stella Immanuel, “has a history of making particularly outlandish statements — including that the uterine disorder endometriosis is caused by sex with demons that takes place in dreams.”

That led phrases like “demon semen,” and “demon sperm” to take over social media.

Rolling Stone, profiling the physicians who appeared in the video, including Ladapo, called them “COVID-19 Truthers.”

 

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CRIME

‘I Hope Your Car Explodes’: Newly Revealed Text Messages Show GOP Rep. ‘Threatening’ Democrat He Used to Date

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In newly revealed text messages, Michigan GOP Rep. Steve Marino (R) vowed to destroy Democratic Rep. Mari Manoogian’s life, even saying he hoped her car exploded on her way to work, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“I’m making it my life mission to destroy you,” Marino said to Manoogian in an undated text message, according to Ingham County court records. As the Detroit Free Press points out, the the messages and statements from Marino to Manoogian were used to secure a personal protection order against Marino.

In one text message, Marino tells Manoogian to “hide on the House floor” because “I’m going to park right next to your desk and ream you a new a–hole each session day until I leave that place.”

Court filings show Manoogian said she dated Marino for about four months in 2019, but things changed after their relationship ended. Manoogian said she believed Marino to be mentally unstable.

“Face to face and over text, Steve began threatening me and harassing me. It has escalated to a point where I fear for my safety and for Steve’s own safety,” she said in a statement filed with the court. “I am afraid of Steve. He repeatedly tells me that he hopes I get in a car crash on my commute to Lansing, and that he hopes my car will blow up…He constantly berated me with obscenities, calling me a c—, a b—-, and telling me to go f— myself.”

Manoogian also describes an encounter where Marino allegedly became physically abusive.

“Steve has emotionally and verbally abused me relentlessly. He also physically abused me. I do not like hugs, I am not a touchy-feely person. Steve knows this. He chased me around his apartment and held me against my will in a ‘hug’ until I cried,” she stated.

Read the full report over at the Detroit Free Press.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Eric Trump to Headline Anti-Vaxxers Pro-QAnon Possible Super-Spreader Event Next Month: Report

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Eric Trump is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at an anti-vaxxers conference in October, despite his father, the former president, claiming credit for the three COVID-19 vaccines.

It’s just the “latest alliance between the Trump family and the GOP’s fringiest elements,” The Daily Beast reports. The second Trump son will be “joining a speakers’ lineup that includes some of the most prominent promoters of disinformation about vaccines, as well as leading figures in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.”

A press release from the group holding the event describes it as organized “by health freedom activists, natural medicine practitioners, and freedom-loving truth seekers,” and claims it will be “a massive in-person gathering in Nashville, TN from October 22nd to the 24th.”

In other words, a likely super-spreader event.

Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has not only refused to implement a mask mandate, he has banned local governments from ordering them.

The Daily Beast adds that the conference, called The Truth About Cancer Live! “is the brainchild of Ty and Charlene Bollinger, two major promoters of anti-vaccine disinformation who have made tens of millions of dollars promoting both alternative health cures for cancer and vaccine fears. The Bollingers have dubbed the coronavirus vaccine ‘that abominable vaccine,’ according to a Center for Public Integrity report, and sell a $200 video series promoting vaccine fearmongering on their website.”

Press release image

Eric Trump denies the event is an anti-vaxx conference.

“As to labeling something an anti-vaccine event, it wouldn’t make much sense for me to attend as a vaccinated person if it was,” Trump told The Daily Beast in an email.

His hosts disagree.

In posts on Telegram, a social media app popular on the right, the Bollingers have called the vaccine a “SHOT OF POISON!” and the “COVID kill shot.”

 

Photo, top: Eric Trump with Charlene Bollinger

Images via PR Newswire press release

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