On Tuesday night, the media erupted with reports of Secretary of Defense General James Mattis defying President Donald Trump by enacting a so-called "freeze" on the Transgender Military Ban.
In a shocking twist, this turned out to be fake news. Mattis is currently developing a plan to enact the trans ban, as directed by the POTUS, which is set for implementation in March 2018.
“The department will carry out the president's policy direction,” reads a statement from Mattis. “I will establish a panel of experts serving within the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the president's direction.”
USA Today, for instance, ran the incorrect headline, "Mattis freezes transgender policy; allows troops to continue serving, pending study." LGBT Weekly ran the headline, "Defense Secretary Mattis delays Trump’s ban on transgender service members," and Slate went all-out with, "Mattis Freezes Trump’s Transgender Ban Pending Further Review by People Other Than the President."
And those were just a few of the false reports.
In actuality, as commendably reported by left-wing Vox, "Mattis is doing exactly what Trump told him to do," contrary to media hysteria. Vox explains:
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. “No action may be taken against such individuals,” the administration memo reads, until Mattis and the Homeland Security secretary figure out how to address transgender people already serving in the military.
And Mattis has until February 21, 2018, to figure out how best to implement the plan. Mattis had previously signaled that he needed more time to complete the review of the effects transgender service members have on the military’s ability to fight wars.
On August 14, 19 days after the initial tweets, he told reporters that when the president’s order arrived at the Pentagon, he and others would “study it and come up with what the policy should be.”
In other words, the fiery general is not going over the president's head and the scheduled timeline to enact the ban is still firmly in place.
Perhaps the media should stick to more ambiguous fake news stories, like the hysterically-covered "Russian Collusion" narrative, which at least takes longer to debunk.