Retired Sgt. Shane Ortega is a transgender man who served as helicopter crew chief in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division and has been through three combat tours — two in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. He thinks President Donald Trump’s recent policy decision to fire transgender military service members is all about deflection.
“This is a completely egotistical move on behalf of Donald Trump,” Ortega told MSNBC. “I think he’s honestly trying to circle the American people to deflect and detract the principles and goodwill of what it is to be an American service member. And he’s trying to use them as pawns right now in order to invoke some sort of emotional reaction from the public to circumvent his own investigations that are going right now towards his impeachment.”
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) agreed with Ortega, noting that Trump’s move goes further than even his own party wanted.
“The Republican-controlled House of Representatives, including 24 Republican members of Congress, just a few days ago, voted to preserve transgender equality in the military,” Maloney recalled. “So, the president has now-departed even from the standard that the Republican controlled House had, which was to leave in place the ability of transgender members to serve honorably. Folks like Shane Ortega and Kristen Beck, a member of S.E.A.L. Team 6, deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq and Riley Dosh who recently graduated from West Point, being denied a commission for no reason when she passed all of the standards for graduation at West Point.”
Maloney said that the country has invested in these soldiers and trans members have served honorably.He went on to call it unprofessional and discriminatory and foresees it going on the “ash heap” with everything else Trump stands for.
Ortega explained that being a trans individual involves a lot of suffering while learning to “live your life authentically.” But when it comes to doing jobs like those that support “special operations” and other highly coveted positions in the military, it involves a lot of work.
“I had to be extremely well-trained and mature and level-headed in order to understand the capacity of that job,” Ortega explained. “So, when President Trump tweets this, I have people still serving and friends still serving and they are trans military people and in Special Ops positions and other coveted positions. I’m entirely outraged and asking the American public to what degree and to what effort will you become outraged? What institution do we have to take where we take away the rights of these people who are literally sacrificing their very lives giving everything they have for you? And when are we going to start intervening and taking away this health care is a right we earned with our blood and sweat and time?”
He explained that service members give up their right to have a normal life and integrate into everyday society by entering the armed forces. Once out of the military, they can integrate back into social society like Ortega did last year.
“We give every ounce of everything we have to this country,” he said. “And for Donald Trump to tweet this, I feel like this is the operation level of an elementary school child. We have 18-year-old kids who perform and behave better than the capacity of our Commander in Chief.”
WATCH: Mike Pompeo goes dead silent when ABC corners him on Ukraine
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on "This Week" Sunday where he was faced with a question about chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's press conference Thursday.
During the press briefing, Mulvaney, who also serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget, confessed that Trump told him Ukraine corruption issues also had to do with the DNC server.
“That he also mentioned to me that the corruption related to the DNC server, absolutely,” said Mulvaney. “No question about it. That’s it and that’s why we held up the money.”
Pompeo said he wasn't going to answer any questions about hypotheticals, which he said host George Stephanopoulos was asking.
Hillary Clinton posts fake letter from JFK to mock Trump’s absurd one to Turkey
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken up a new hobby of trolling President Donald Trump on Twitter.
The grandmother of three excelled in her sarcasm and stepped up her shade Sunday afternoon by releasing a fake letter from Former President John F. Kennedy to former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
Read the fake letter and see the tweet below:
Dear Premier Khrushchev,
Don't be a d*ck, ok? Get your missiles out of Cuba. Everybody will say 'Yay! Khrushchev! You're the best!' But if you don't everybody will be like 'what an assh*le' and call your garbage country 'The Soviet Bunion.'
‘I’d be open to it’: Trump voters warming up to impeachment as president’s Ukraine story unravels
In one of the pieces that both the Washington Post and the New York Times are famous for, a visit to talk to Donald Trump voters outside the Beltway about how they feel about the president three years after the election reveals cracks in his support as more information becomes available about his Ukraine phone call that precipitated an impeachment inquiry.
According to the Post's report, they ventured out to Staten Island, or specifically: "New York’s 11th Congressional District, a swath of the country as good a place as any to gauge how a defining moment in American democracy is playing out."