Pentagon 'worried Trump was going to declare war on North Korea' during today's tweets about military

The US is concerned about North Korea's nuclear programme

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Wednesday 26 July 2017 21:09 BST
Donald Trump bans transgender people from the military

Some officials at the Pentagon were reportedly concerned Donald Trump was set to declare war on North Korea when he started tweeting about his plans for the military.

There were nine long minutes between Mr Trump’s first tweet - announcing he had been consulting with his generals - and the second, in which he said he had decided transgender people could not serve in the military.

During that time, some people were apparently worried Mr Trump had Pyongyang in his sights, rather than the rights of LGBTQ servicemen and women.

“At the Pentagon, the first of the three tweets raised fears that the president was getting ready to announce strikes on North Korea or some other military action,” BuzzFeed reported.

“Many said they were left in suspense for nine minutes, the time between the first and second tweet. Only after the second tweet did military officials receive the news the President was announcing a personnel change on Twitter.”

Sarah Huckabee fails to answer what will happen to transgender people currently serving in military

The news site said Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis is on vacation this week, and officials said he knew Mr Trump was considering the policy change. It said it was unclear if he approved of it.

The news fits with the confused and seemingly shambolic way in which Mr Trump announced his news, the reversal of years of hard-fought progress that had been made by members of the LGBTQ community in regards to the military.

Barack Obama’s administration had already permitted transgender people already enlisted to serve openly, and was set to allow new transgender recruits to join. The plan was suspended in December.

After Mr Trump announced the news on Twitter, the Pentagon directed all questions on the issue to the White House.

At a briefing, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked what would happen to those transgender people already serving - an issue Mr Trump did not address in his tweets. She did not have a convincing answer.

She said: “That’s something that the Department of Defence and the White House will have to work together as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully.”

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