A military watchdog, reacting to the Pentagon's latest news on its transgender policy, is concerned about who will sit on a coming review panel.
Defense Secretary James Mattis announced Tuesday that the Pentagon's Obama-era policy on transgender troops "will remain in place" while President Donald Trump's recent directive reversing it undergoes an expert study.
Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum last week, which followed his surprise announcement via Tweeter in July, and Mattis said in a statement that the Pentagon will "carry out the president's policy direction," which will include a panel of experts from the Department of Defense and from Homeland Security.
Once the panel releases a report, Mattis will then advise the President about implementing the policy.
"In the interim," he added, "current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place."
It was unclear to some media if Mattis was reversing Trump's memorandum but Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness says the Department of Defense is following Trump's directive.
"Now the media is trying to create an impression that somehow there is dissention between the troops and the President, that the president is picking on people unfairly," she says. "All of that is a media meme and it is really not valid."
"Mattis: Transgender troops can keep serving pending study," reads the headline from The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based news website.
But the far-left website Vox disagreed with such observations, pointing to a similarly worded headline from USA Today and claiming both are wrong and Mattis is following through on Trump's order.
"The president’s August 25 ban memo allowed trans service members to stay in the military up to March 23, 2018, when the ban goes into effect," Vox writer Alex Ward explains in the story.
Donnelly tells OneNewsNow she is concerned about the composition of the review panel, singling out an Obama holdover named Anthony Kurta.
"If he is put in charge of this project," she warns, "that would be a huge mistake because Mr. Kurta has a record of defying the President in favor of the LGBT causes."