Local Democrats attack Trump over tweet about transgender troops in the military

Chicago-area Democrats in Congress blasted President Donald Trump‘s surprise tweet Wednesday saying he would not accept or allow transgender troops in the military, with Democrats assailing the move as “stupid” and “bigoted.”

Most Chicago-area Republicans declined Tribune requests for comment. An exception was GOP Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton, who took issue with Trump’s decree, saying in a statement: “In settling these sorts of matters, we are better served by a thoughtful review like the Department of Defense has undertaken.” He declined to say specifically whether he supports or opposes Trump’s bid to bar transgender troops.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis decided June 30 to give top military bosses an additional six months to conduct a review to determine if allowing transgender people to enlist would affect the “readiness or lethality” of the force. That affected potential new recruits but not transgender personnel already in the ranks.

Democrats had more fighting words for Trump. Rep. Robin Kelly of Matteson issued a statement saying his decision to “tweet out a major military personnel decision shows his complete and utter disdain for those who wear the uniform.”

Decisions affecting Americans who put their lives on the line “deserve more than 140 characters in his consistent tweet stream of hate and ignorance,” Kelly said.

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