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Transcript

00:00:00
>> I want you to know that we will always keep our promises to those who have kept us free.>> US President Donald Trump's sudden ban on transgender troops will not be immediately enforced, according to the highest ranking official in the US military. Reuters learning that General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a written message Thursday to armed forces leaders, saying quote, there will be no modifications to the current policy until the President's direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.
00:00:38
Dunford adding, quote, in the mean time, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect. The President's directive, issued in a series of Wednesday morning tweets, clearly catching the Pentagon off guard, says Reuters foreign policy correspondent, Idrees Ali.>> When we first found out about it, we were at the Pentagon, we went to the press hub, and they weren't aware of it.
00:01:01
And then they started scrambling to try to get a message as to what exactly that meant. So initially there clearly wasn't much coordination with the Pentagon on how to announce it or what exactly this would mean. It's now more than 24 hours, and we still don't have many details, which obviously is quite concerning for those who are transgender in the military.
00:01:21
>> Trump's tweets also raising the question of what the President can or can't do simply by hitting send on his Twitter feed.>> It's a bit of a debate, is a tweet a policy? And really that's an open question. As far as the military is concerned, they're waiting for an official memo that would lay out, this is what we intend and would like the military to do.
00:01:42
So, in itself, the tweet was purely stating an intention. It doesn't lay out the steps. And that would have to come through an official memo from the White House to the Pentagon. And I think that's what people here are waiting for.>> Legal experts adding that if the Defense Department actively roots out transgender people and discharges them from the military, the Pentagon is likely to face contentious courtroom battles.