Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Newly-appointed Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump's decision to bar transgender people from serving in the U.S. military was "based on a military decision. It's not meant to be anything more than that." She also claimed that the Obama-era policy enabling the Pentagon to fund gender transition surgery is "a very expensive and disruptive policy."

When asked what will happen to transgender members of the military currently serving overseas, Sanders couldn't answer, but stated that the DoD and WH will have to work together "as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully."

Live updates:

  • On Sessions criticism: "You can be disappointed in someone and still want them to continue to do their job."
  • Why doesn't Trump fire acting FBI Director McCabe himself rather than asking Sessions to do it? The president is looking forward to having Christopher Wray come in and replace him.
  • Education donation: President Trump is donating his second quarter salary, $100k, to the Department of Education.
  • On being a mom: "To the best of my knowledge, I am the first press secretary who is also a mom... that says less about me than it does this president."
  • Letters to the President: Sanders said she plans to start some briefings by reading a letter or email that is sent to the WH. Today she read one from a 9-year-old.

Go deeper

Supreme Court won't block Rhode Island's eased absentee voting rules

Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Supreme Court said Thursday that it will not block Rhode Island's move to ease its requirements for absentee voting during November's election.

Why it matters: The decision is a loss for Republicans, who had requested an emergency order as the state is expected to begin mailing out its ballots.

Breaking down Uber and Lyft's threat to suspend services in California

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Uber and Lyft are ratcheting up the fight with California’s state government over the classification of drivers with a move that would deprive Californians of their ride-hailing services (and halt driver income).

Driving the news: On Wednesday, both companies said that if a court doesn’t overturn or further pause a new ruling forcing them to reclassify California drivers as employees, they’ll suspend their services in the state until November’s election, when voters could potentially exempt them by passing a ballot measure.

Trump announces normalization of ties between Israel and UAE

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, Trump and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto; Samuel Corum; Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced a "historic" deal Thursday which will see Israel and the UAE open full diplomatic relations and Israel suspend its annexation plans in the West Bank.

Why it matters: This is a major breakthrough for Israel, which lacks diplomatic recognition in many Middle Eastern countries but has been steadily improving relations in the Gulf, largely due to mutual antipathy toward Iran.