Chelsea Manning accuses Donald Trump of 'cowardice' after transgender military ban

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Chelsea Manning has hit out at Donald Trump after he banned transgender people from serving in the US army, accusing him of “cowardice”.

Mr Trump blamed “disruption” and “tremendous medical costs” when he announced the ban on Wednesday.

Former soldier Ms Manning, a transgender activist, fired back, saying: “So, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people but funds the F-35?

“Sounds like cowardice.”

She said militaries like the US army “have always been a social experiment just as much as a fighting force.”

She added: “Today is further reason we should dismantle the bloated and dangerous military/intel/police state to fund #healthcare for all.”

A Pentagon spokesman has refused to answer questions about what the announcement means for the current policy.

Navy captain Jeff Davis told reporters to “call the White House”.

Ms Manning, born Bradley Manning, was jailed for 35 years in 2013 for one of the US’ biggest ever intelligence leaks.

She passed more than 700,000 documents, videos and battlefield accounts to the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange.

She was convicted of violating the Espionage Act but her sentence was commuted by Barack Obama in the final days of his presidency and she was released from prison in May.

Ms Manning is an outspoken advocate for transgender rights.

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