This morning, President Donald Trump used his personal Twitter account to make sweeping policy changes when he announced that after consulting his generals and military experts, he had decided to ban all transgender people from serving in the military.
It was reported shortly after that military leaders were caught off guard by the president’s tweets despite Trump claiming he had consulted with them. (Defense Secretary James Mattis is currently on vacation, for instance.) Later in the morning, the Pentagon released a statement referring all questions about the new policy be sent to the White House.
JUST IN: Pentagon on president's transgender policy tweets: “We refer all questions about the president's statements to the White House." pic.twitter.com/WrJ1Al8yfI
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) July 26, 2017
However, it wasn’t just that the Department of Defense was blindsided by the announcement. When the president sent the first of his three tweets about the ban, there was a nine-minute gap before the second one went out. And while the world waited to see what the president was announcing, those at the Pentagon were concerned they were about to find out they were involved in a military strike.
At the Pentagon, the first of the three tweets raised fears that the president was getting ready to announce strikes on North Korea or some other military action. Many said they were left in suspense for nine minutes, the time between the first and second tweet. Only after the second tweet did military officials receive the news the president was announcing a personnel change on Twitter.
It has since been reported that Trump’s snap decision to impose this ban was a way to get funding for his Mexican border wall, as some House Republicans wanted to stop funding for military reassignment surgeries and were threatening to derail the spending bill because of it.
[image via Shutterstock]
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com