We have heard numerous individuals, on both the right and the left, criticize President Trump for his tweeting. The argument has been made that short tweets, which oftentimes don’t convey the entire message, could be quite dangerous. The danger of these 140-character-or-less messages was never more apparent than this morning at the Pentagon, during the President’s sudden announcement that he will no longer allow transgender individuals to serve in the U.S. military. At approximately 9:15 a.m. this morning, the President tweeted the following message:
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…… “
For a full nine minutes, the nation, and the entire world for that matter, were on edge waiting for the rest of the message to come through via additional tweets. We were all wondering what the ‘United States Government would not accept or allow,” but those at the Pentagon were even more frantic. For nine whole minutes, Pentagon officials sat in anticipation, with officials telling BuzzFeed that they thought that the President was in the midst of announcing military action in North Korea or some other area of the world. It was only after the second tweet came through that tensions subsided a bit. Instead of an attack on North Korea, or another enemy State, Trump instead attacked the LGBT community here in the United States. The full three-tweet announcement read:
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”
Pentagon officials did not know that this announcement was coming, therefore they were caught completely off guard. Not only were they unprepared for this announcement, but the President’s shoot-from-the-hip tweeting style nearly caused a national security emergency.