Late-Night Hosts Slam Trump Over Plan for Transgender Military Ban

Stephen Colbert on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Timothy Kuratek/CBS 

Stephen Colbert on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

President Donald Trump was criticized on Wednesday for his decision to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. 

Late-night hosts joined activists, politicians, journalists and military members on Wednesday night in their criticism over Trump's plan, which he announced through a series of tweets earlier in the day. 

Trump tweeted that the U.S. government "will not accept or allow" transgender people to serve "in any capacity" in the military. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory," he wrote. "And cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

Later during the White House press briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump's plan was a "military decision," adding that Trump's national security advisers helped him to make the decision. 

Trump didn't elaborate what would happen under his plan to the transgender people currently serving in the military, nor did he explain how he plans to implement such a ban. Nonetheless, several celebrity activists including Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, George Takei, Ellen DeGeneres and more responded to his plan, calling it "hurtful, baseless and wrong." 

Jimmy Fallon invited transgender comedian Patti Harrison on NBC's The Tonight Show to share her thoughts. 

"As a trans person, it's hard to articulate exactly how I feel," said Harrison. "But I guess if I had to describe it, I'd say, 'Donald, you are so stupid. You are so stupid.'" She added: "I don't even think Trump knows what transgender means — he probably thinks transgender people are those cars that turn into robots."

Her final thoughts: "Trump says transgender people in the military would be a tremendous disruption. And I get it. If you constantly draw attention to yourself, spend all day distracting everyone and cost taxpayers millions of dollars, the perfect job for you isn't the military, it's the president of the United States." 

Over on CBS, The Late Show host Stephen Colbert came to the conclusion that the president is "really off his meds."

"Today, he went from crazy to cruel," Colbert said, reading Trump's tweets announcing a transgender military ban, which ended in "thank you."

"Thank you? F— you," responded Colbert, to loud applause from his audience. 

Colbert also took the liberty of editing Trump's tweet to reflect Trump's true feelings.

Samantha Bee shared a similar (word-for-word) sentiment on TBS' Full Frontal for Trump's sign-off in his tweet. "Thank you? Fuck you," she said.

“Firing thousands of active-duty service members during the big push against ISIS is Trump’s version of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ He didn’t ask anyone if it was a good idea and didn’t tell anyone he was doing it,” said Bee.

Her comments on the transgender ban begin around the 4:40 mark of the video below.

The Daily Show's Trevor Noah broke down Trump's tweets, as well as his history with the LGBTQ community (and his history of forgetting parts of the acronym). 

"Just so we're on the same page," the Comedy Central late-night host said, "transgender-related military expenses for the military cost at most $8 million per year ... In contrast, taxpayers will be paying $60 million per year just for Trump to visit his own properties like Mar-a-Lago. And that's before he orders dessert." 

On NBC's Late Night With Seth Meyers, the host turned it over to four of his female writers for reactions. 

"President Trump, you just requested a $600 billion military budget," said writer Amber Ruffin. "You think you can't afford health care for trans people? The military spends $41 million a year on Viagra. What are you guys doing, screwing the enemy to death?"

Referencing a recent tweet by Trump's daughter, Ivanka, in which she wrote she was "proud to support my LGBT friends," the writers tossed it over to the "daughter to the president and world-renowned entrepeneur" — only to show an empty podium at the White House. The gag was repeated later with footage of a tumbleweed crossing a desolate road and a lone wolf howling in a snowy field. "She's just stuck in traffic," noted the writers.

Chelsea Handler previewed Friday's episode of her Netflix show with a message to the transgender community: "I'm sorry a man that has never served in the military a day in his life is denying you the right to serve your country. Thank you for your service and thank you for your bravery. And to the members of the Republican party who continue to choose party over politics, grow a fucking spine!" 


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