John McCain Calls Trump’s Transgender Ban Tweet ‘Unclear,’ Not ‘Appropriate’

“There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military — regardless of their gender identity,” senator says

John McCain, after criticizing the Senate‘s ability to come to an agreement on health care on Tuesday, is now criticizing President Trump’s new ban on transgender people serving in the military. McCain called Trump’s tweeted announcement “unclear” and said it was not “appropriate” to change policy without a “thorough” review by “our Secretary of Defense, our military leadership and the Congress.”

“The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter,” the Arizona senator said in a statement.

McCain also said that “Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving.

“There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military–regardless of their gender identity.”

“We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so–and should be treated as the patriots they are,” the statement went on.

McCain returned to the Senate floor for the first time since being diagnosed with brain cancer on Tuesday to add his vote to the decision on whether to open a debate about the GOP’s health care bill. Vice President Mike Pence ended up breaking a tie vote; McCain voted yes, according to the New York Times.

McCain’s own status as a veteran is well-known. He was a prisoner of war in Vietnam and is considered a hero by many, though Trump has previously criticized McCain’s war record. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

You can read McCain’s full statement here.

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