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Chelsea Manning Blasts Trump’s Transgender Military Ban: ‘Sounds Like Cowardice’

Manning, whose sentence for leaking classified information was commuted by Obama, stands up to trolls on Twitter

Chelsea Manning, who was pardoned by Barack Obama in January, is responding to Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people in the United States military. “So, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people but funds the F-35? Sounds like cowardice #WeGotThis,” she tweeted Wednesday morning.

Since her initial tweet on the matter, she has been responding to replies. “Militaries, esp. U.S., have always been a social experiment just as much as a fighting force its how it got so bloated #WeGotThis,” she said in an additional tweet. While some thanked Manning for her inspiration and courage, others were less than kind. “Go find a hole, crawl deep inside it, stay there,” one said, to which Manning responded “never,” along with the grinning and double heart emojis.

Trump announced the ban on Twitter Wednesday morning, citing medical expenses as a driving force for the decision. As CNN pointed out, a 2016 Rand Corp. study found that transgender people serving in the military would have a “minimal impact” on health care costs.

Barack Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence in January for her 2010 conviction for a leak about U.S. military and diplomatic activities. Hers was the longest sentence ever imposed in the U.S. for a leak conviction. A transgender woman, Manning was forced to serve her time in a men’s prison.

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