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‘Grossly Misleading’: LGBT Legal Experts Slam Reports Defense Secretary Has ‘Frozen’ Transgender Policy



New Military Study Is ‘A Transparent Effort to Provide a Retroactive Fig Leaf for the President’s Bigotry’ Says Attorney

Legal experts on LGBT issues are pushing back hard against a Tuesday night report in USA Today titled: “Mattis freezes transgender policy; allows troops to continue serving, pending study.”

Many concerned by the Trump administration’s attack on transgender active duty service members were pleased to read the USA Today report, and those that followed (including NCRM’s), but not civil rights attorney Shannon Minter, who blasted the media.

The USA Today story is grossly misleading,” Minter, who is the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), which is suing the Trump administration over the president’s ban on transgender troops. “Secretary Mattis did not make a decision to ‘buy time’ or to ‘freeze’ the current policy,” Minter chastised. 

Minter says the memo President Trump signed on Friday “expressly provides that the new ban does not go into effect until March 23, 2018 and expressly states that no one can be discharged for being transgender in the meantime. There is nothing new at all here, and suggesting otherwise is terribly misleading.”

Minter goes on to slam what he says is “inaccurate reporting” that “is playing into a patently bogus strategy to make it appear that there is going to be some new ‘study’ that will legitimate what is already a forgone conclusion: the discriminatory banning of military service by transgender people, based on a characteristic that has no bearing on their fitness to serve.”

He calls Mattis’ study “a transparent effort to provide a retroactive fig leaf for the President’s bigotry,” and “a blatant pretext for unmitigated, vicious, baseless discrimination.” Trump’s ban on transgender service members, Minter adds, is “an act of pure animus toward transgender people.” 

He also called on “reporters to fact check these stories and not simply repeat false information that is being used to set up an attempted cover for one of the most shocking acts of official discrimination the transgender community has ever experienced.”

Minter is not the only attorney speaking out.

Joshua Block, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Projects responded to a since-deleted tweet from a Washington Post reporter. He says: “Inaccurate spin. Order already requires this ‘study.’ Discretion is about time, place, manner of separation. No discretion not to implement.”

The ACLU is also suing Trump over the transgender ban, in a separate action from NCLR’s.

Another ACLU attorney, Chase Strangio, a Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & AIDS Project, took to Twitter also, posting his thoughts on the Mattis announcement and subsequent reports.

Strange tweeted that the USA Today “headline and article overstate what is happening here. Surgeries are still being cancelled and reenlistments denied.” And he adds that Defense Secretary Mattis “clearly has no patience or respect for the president. But his options are limited under Trump’s sweeping, monstrous directive.”

Stragio at one point does say, “This is still a good sign and we should support this action by Mattis.”

But he also warns:

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Image: DOD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith via Flickr and a CC license 


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Trump Reverses on Illegal Hosting of G-7 at His Own Resort – Blames ‘Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility’



President Donald Trump late Saturday night finally reversed his decision to host the G-7 at his Doral Miami resort in June of 2020. Ignoring numerous Republican lawmakers, legal experts, and bipartisan condemnation of his unconstitutional and illegal decision the president instead blamed the “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility.”

Curiously, Trump announced his administration would “begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately.”

But on Thursday Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters at a rare White House briefing that the administration had conducted an exhaustive search for the best space to host the G-7 leaders, and fairly decided Trump’s Doral Miami resort was “perfect.”

Earlier: Trump Mocked After Saying He Thought Violating the Constitution and Profiting From G7 Hosting Was ‘Good for Our Country’

Mulvaney went so far as to claim the White House had looked at 12 locations, including two in Utah, but decided on the Doral.

He also preemptively refused to release any emails or other items documenting the search process.

But if an actual search had been conducted, it would make sense to simply announce the 2020 G-7 would be held at the next “best” locale. Instead, Trump announced a new search would be conducted.


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Trump Mocked After Saying He Thought Violating the Constitution and Profiting From G7 Hosting Was ‘Good for Our Country’



‘Bro Tweeted Out an Ad’

After tremendous public and private  bipartisan condemnation of his decision to host the 2020 G-7 at his own Miami resort President Donald Trump Saturday night appeared to be laying the groundwork of reversing the unconstitutional and illegal decision.

In an insane series of tweets the president did what he always does: blamed the media for holding his feet to the fire in accurately reporting the consequences of his actions.

“I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders. It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms,” Trump tweeted, adding that “each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives. I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!”

Also going “crazy” are Republicans and legal experts.

Should Trump host the G-7 at any of his properties he would reportedly be violating at least one if not several laws, and the U.S. Constitution.

Many quickly took to Twitter to express their condemnation yet again.



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2020 Road to the White House

‘This Is a Real Warning’: Ex-Campaign Aide Bluntly States Clinton Didn’t Go Far Enough Criticizing Tulsi Gabbard



On MSNBC Saturday, former Clinton campaign official and director of SiriusXM progressive programming Zerlina Maxwell said that not only did Hillary Clinton do nothing wrong for criticizing Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), she should have if anything gone even harder.

“I think she didn’t go far enough, and we have to decide whether or not we’ll listen to Hillary Clinton, who lived through this in 2016, or whether or not we’re going to do what we did in 2016, is decide that what she’s saying is irrelevant because of how we feel personally about her, and I think that that would be a mistake,” said Maxwell.

Related: ‘Malevolent Kraken’: Tulsi Gabbard Mocked After Attacking Hillary Clinton Over Claim Russia Is Grooming a Woman Democrat

“In 2016, anchors literally laughed at Hillary Clinton when she said it was Russia,” Maxwell continued. “Robby Mook went on television and said, ‘It was Russia that was hacking our emails and releasing them on Wikileaks.’ We were laughed at. I would like everyone to listen to us now because I, on the campaign, had that red banner over my email that said, ‘Government hackers are trying to infiltrate your account.’ So, this is a real warning. And I think that we would be smart to listen before it’s too late.”

Watch below:

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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