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Capito, Manchin reject Trump tweet on transgender soldiers

WASHINGTON — West Virginia’s two U.S. senators both agreed with statements made by the decorated Vietnam War veteran Sen. John McCain about the president’s social media post reversing a policy allowing transgender people to serve in the military.

Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito upon request issued statements Thursday in response to President Donald Trump’s tweet Wednesday on Twitter that the U.S. government will not “accept or allow” transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the military.

McCain, a fighter pilot who was a prisoner during the war, rebuked the president, saying Trump’s decree was “yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.”

“We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so — and should be treated as the patriots they are,” McCain said.

McCain, chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, returned to the Senate after a diagnosis of an aggressive form of brain cancer.

“I agree with Senator McCain that ‘any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so — and should be treated as the patriots they are,'” Manchin, a Democrat, said.

Capito, a Republican, said she agreed with McCain and others who have said that social media should not be used to make major policy announcements.

“More importantly, we should be thankful for any American who selflessly serves our country to defend our freedoms,” Capito said.

Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., a candidate for the U.S. Senate, said he disagreed with Manchin.

“I am in full support of President Trump’s decision to rescind Obama’s transgender military policy. The men and women of the U.S. military deserve the full support of the American people. Through his supportive actions, President Trump is ensuring that the military may continue to operate in a mission-driven manner,” Jenkins said.

“We must not allow the radical social agenda of the Obama administration to continue to burden and distract us from the mission of keeping our country safe. American citizens should not be asked to pay millions of dollars a year for costly gender re-assignment procedures that do nothing to strengthen national defense,” Jenkins said

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