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Trump tells Pentagon chief to indefinitely ban transgender recruits

Published:Saturday | August 26, 2017 | 11:37 AM

Washington (AP):

President Donald Trump last Friday directed the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military, but he appeared to leave open the possibility of allowing some already in uniform to remain.

Trump gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority to decide the matter of openly transgender individuals already serving, and he said that until the Pentagon chief makes that decision, "no action may be taken against" them.

The Obama administration, in June 2016, had changed a long-standing policy, declaring that troops could serve openly as transgender individuals and a July 2017 deadline was set to determine whether transgender people could be allowed to enter the military.

Mattis delayed that to January 1, 2018, and Trump has now instructed Mattis to extend it indefinitely.