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Report: Trump banned transgender troops to save spending bill

Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump's surprise decision this morning to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military was fast-tracked in order to save a House spending bill — imperiled by a dispute over Pentagon-funded gender reassignment treatment for transgender military personnel — that would fund some of his key promises, including a border wall, per Politico.

  • Conservative Republicans asked more moderate figures, including Paul Ryan and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, to intervene to prevent the Pentagon from funding gender reassignment treatments, but found themselves consistently rebuffed — leading them to contact the White House directly.
  • More than expected: Trump's decision to apparently expel all transgender individuals from military service was far beyond what conservative Republicans were asking for regarding the spending bill.
  • A key quote: A senior House Republican aide told Politico, ""This is like someone told the White House to light a candle on the table and the WH set the whole table on fire."