Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Donald Trump: Allowing Trans People in Military Is Due to "Political Correctness"

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Donald Trump didn't exactly say he'd revert to the ban on transgender military members, but he did say the lifting of the ban was an example of excessive "political correctness." 

During a campaign stop in Northern Virginia Monday, the Republican nominee was asked about military service by trans people. Army Col. Don Bartholomew, speaking to Trump, accused the military of becoming "an institution for social experiments." "As a result, the military has undergone a number of changes to regulations with regard to women in combat, transgender rights, and other issues," Bartholomew continued at the event hosted by the Retired American Warriors PAC. 

"None of these P.C. actions were combat-effective or readiness-driven. In fact, the opposite is happening. Deployability, readiness and morale are all adversely affected. So my question to you is: What will do you about the social engineering and political correctness that has been imposed upon our military?" Bartholomew asked Trump.

"Well, we're going to get away from political correctness, and we are going to have to do that," Trump responded. "You're right," he told Bartholomew. "We have a politically correct military, and it's getting more and more politically correct every day. And a lot of the great people in this room don't even understand how it's possible to do that. And that's through intelligence, not through ignorance — believe me — because some of the things that they're asking you to do and be politically correct about are ridiculous."

"We'd get our military people to come back and make recommendations to me, and I will follow those recommendations," said the Republican nominee. "I will follow them very strongly."

Kristin Beck, a trans retired Navy SEAL, spoke out against Trump's statements about transgender people serving in the military and about comments Trump made regarding veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The Republican presidential candidate referred to them as "weak." 

The Human Rights Campaign blasted Trump his comments on transgender people serving in the military. “Allowing transgender people to serve their country isn’t about politics, it’s about extending them the respect and dignity every service member deserves. This is yet another example of the grave threat that Donald Trump and Mike Pence pose to LGBTQ Americans,” said HRC communications director Jay Brown in a blog post.

“Working for years with senior members of the military, the Secretary of Defense rightly ended a discriminatory policy this year, bringing long-overdue recognition to transgender service members, strengthening our military and our nation. Just like Mike Pence’s record defending the discriminatory, 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,' Donald Trump’s comments today are a reminder that he puts at risk all the gains made by the LGBTQ community over the last eight years.”

The Pentagon announced in August that it was ending the ban on transgender people serving in the military, therefore allowing open service by the many who were already there — and closeted.

Watch Trump answer the question in the video below.

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