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Mattis expected to back transgender troops — if they can deploy, official says

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to recommend to President Trump that transgender people can serve in the U.S. military if they can deploy overseas, a U.S. official with knowledge of the secretary’s thinking on the issue told Fox News Thursday.

The official said Mattis did not want to go against recent federal court orders which ruled Trump’s proposed ban on transgender people serving in the military is unlawful.

FLASHBACK: MATTIS FREEZES TRUMP BAN ON TRANSGENDER TROOPS PENDING REVIEW

Mattis’ expected decision was first reported by The Washington Post.

Officials tell Fox News that Mattis’ thinking has also been shaped by his recently announced policy that any service member unable to deploy with his or her unit for more than 12 months must leave the military.

Mattis has not yet given his recommendation to the president. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters Thursday the secretary’s recommendation would be given to the president later “this week.”

FLASHBACK: TRUMP ANNOUNCES BAN ON TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS SERVING IN MILITARY

The official announcement about transgender policy is expected from the White House no later than March 23, according to officials.  The Pentagon was caught by surprise this past July when Trump tweeted that transgender people were no longer welcome in the military “in any capacity.”

The following month, Trump demanded that military recruitment policy consider transgender as “a disqualifying psychological and physical” condition.

Since then, three federal courts have ruled against the ban and some Senate Republicans — including military veterans Joni Ernst of Iowa and John McCain of Arizona — have voiced their objections. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews



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'This won't end well' Meghan and Harry warned of US backlash as Sussexes go against Queen

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PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle cannot hope to win in a popularity contest against the Queen, even among Americans, a former MP who is now based in the US has said.

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Tom Barrack, former Trump inaugural chair, released on $250 million bond

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Former Trump inaugural committee chair Tom Barrack on Friday was released from federal lockup in California on a $250 million bond ahead of his scheduled arraignment in New York on charges he acted as an agent of the United Arab Emirates and obstructed justice.

As part of the terms of his release, Barrack, 74, is subject to electronic monitoring and will have to foot the bill for his GPS ankle bracelet, Judge Patricia Donahue ordered, signing off on an agreement that had been worked out between the government and Barrack’s attorneys.

Barrack, a private equity investor and founder of the investment firm Colony Capital, also had to surrender his passports and is barred from transferring funds overseas, the judge said. He cannot trade any securities without written permission from federal prosecutors and is not allowed to transfer more than $50,000 except for attorneys fees.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn, New York on Monday. His spokesman said earlier this week that Barrack “is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty.”

A longtime friend of former President Donald Trump, Barrack had been behind bars since his arrest Tuesday on charges that he and two co-defendants were “acting and conspiring to act as agents” of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018, but without registering as foreign agents.

Prosecutors said Barrack and the others acted “to advance the interests of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the United States at the direction of senior UAE officials by influencing the foreign policy positions of the campaign of a candidate in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and, subsequently, the foreign policy positions of the U.S. government in the incoming administration.”

Barrack was also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to federal law enforcement agents.



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BBC sparks fury: Over-75s left 'stressed' over licence fee crackdown as Covid cases soar

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OVER-75s are terrified the BBC will send round TV licence fee enforcement officers to their homes while Covid cases continue to surge.

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