“If those are the only questions we have, I’m going to call it a day,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders threatened this afternoon amid media queries about Donald Trump’s Twitter announcement this morning that transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in the military. The comment immediately led to outrage from the usually compliant White House press corps, at least for a few seconds.
“I really don’t have anything more to add on this topic, as I do, I’ll keep you posted,” the clearly ratted Trump spokesperson also told the assembled media of POTUS’ sudden policy shift, which seemingly left the Pentagon blindsided. President Trump is expected to deliver comments at an American Legion event at the White House later today and may address the issue, which has been widely condemned by Sen. John McCain, Caitlyn Jenner and many many more.
“That’s something that the Department of Defense and the White House will have to work together as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully,” Sanders punted earlier over how Trump’s transgender announcement will affect the more than 10,000 transgender individuals estimated to be in the military in the rare on-camera briefing.
“The decision is based on a military decision, it’s not meant to be anything more than that,” Sanders also as the topic came up again and again.
Sanders also said the move was not a betrayal of Trump’s promise in last year’s campaign to fight for the LGBT community and that there were no political aims to the decision as far as she knows.
“The President has a lot of support for all Americans and wants to support all Americans at all times,” Sanders uncertainly assured the press on what quickly became the main story of the day, eclipsing even the uncertain state of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “The President has expressed concern since this Obama policy came into affect. He has also voiced that this is a very expensive and disruptive policy and, based on consultation that he has had with his National Security team, came to the conclusion that it erodes military readiness and unit cohesion and made the decision based on that.”
“The reason we’re here is to serve the American people,” said Sanders to kick off the briefing in what was a long prologue of POTUS-praising, letter-reading, Mom-commending and Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci-joshing. With an appearance by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos too accepting Trump’s latest donation of his salary, the introduction seemed a clear attempt at deflecting Trump’s tweets of this morning – it didn’t work, though Scaramuchhi praised the effort and the jokes on social media:
.@SHSanders45 killing it from the podium! Hair and make up is on me going forward as long as you don’t take all my hairspray!
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 26, 2017