Defense Secretary James Mattis was wrong to push back the military’s deadline for accepting transgender recruits instead of rejecting the idea of accepting transgender soldiers altogether, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Friday.
Mattis has said the deadline of July 1, set by the Obama administration, would be pushed back six months.
“After consulting with the service chiefs and secretaries, I have determined that it is necessary to defer the start of accessions for six months,” Mattis said in a memo. “We will use this additional time to evaluate more carefully the impact of such accessions on readiness and lethality.”
Carlson and former Obama administration official Patrick Granfield sparred over that decision Friday night, with Granfield saying that making the right decision required more facts and more time.
“When I worked directly with Secretary Ash Carter on a number of personnel reforms, whether it was the repeal of ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell,’ whether it was women in combat, or whether it was transgender service, the question was always, ‘Does this make our force more effective?’ And, you know, Ash Carter, he’s a physicist. He wants the data, he wants the facts. He’s not an ideologue, and neither is General Mattis, who is the secretary of defense. And so, that’s how we approached these questions, but also in mind that we have the finest fighting ..” he said until Carlson interrupted him.
“Well, OK, I’m sorry, I gotta stop you there. First of all, he’s a coward. He’s a coward who should have resigned when asked to do this, because in no sense, with the data you described or not, does this make the country safer. And if you can prove otherwise, the floor is open to you. How does this make America safer?” Carlson challenged.
Granfield said the military must “recruit from the broadest possible pool of America’s best.”
“We have an all-volunteer force. We have to draft, we have to recruit from a number of different communities throughout the country. And in the past you’ve seen how the military has expanded to different ethnicities, to different races, to women in combat now,” he said.
Carlson rejected that argument.
“You know this is a political sop to an interest group that the administration was afraid of. Nobody called them on it, because everyone was too embarrassed and didn’t want to be called a bigot or something,” he said.
Carlson then pressed Granfield on the point.
“Shouldn’t every decision make it a more effective fighting force for the sake of the country it protects? This does not do that. It wasn’t made with that question in mind. It was made for other reasons, and that’s why you guys all should have resigned when they made you do this,” Carlson said.
“Well then, should Secretary Mattis resign, that he’s continuing it? I don’t think so. Secretary Mattis came up with a …” Granfield said.
“Yeah, I think it’s — I think he …” Carlson began until Granfield cut him off to finish his point.
“It’s a six-month delay to make sure that the policies are right and that we get the training right, so that our military can continue to serve and defend this country,” Granfield said.
CRTXNEWS. All rights reserved www.crtxnews.com