Pentagon: Trans troops stay in place

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unmoved by President Donald Trump’s proclamation-by-Twitter, top Pentagon leaders declared Thursday they’ll allow transgender troops to remain in uniform until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis receives an authoritative directive to remove them.

For now, “there will be no modifications” to policy, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an internal memo to all military service chiefs, commanders and enlisted leaders. That was despite Trump’s announcement Wednesday on Twitter that he will not “accept or allow” transgender people to serve in the U.S. military.

By late Thursday, the Pentagon still had nothing more to go on than the tweets, a highly irregular circumstance that put Mattis and others in the chain of command in a position of awkward unease, if not paralysis. A commander in chief normally works out policy changes of this magnitude in advance to preserve order and morale.