Schumer: Trump announced transgender ban, Arpaio pardon during hurricane’s approach to ‘avoid scrutiny’


Posted on: August 26th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Just hours before Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast Friday night, Donald Trump made a pair of controversial announcements — a move that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., believes was done intentionally, so they would be buried and overshadowed by the powerful storm’s approach.
 
First, the president announced that he signed a memo that formally directed the Pentagon to ban transgender individuals from openly serving in the U.S. military. Ever since he tweeted last month that he would not permit transgender individuals from serving — though it was not an official directive — it’s become an increasingly polarizing issue.

Also Friday night, controversial former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was pardoned by the president after being found guilty in July on criminal contempt charges stemming from his refusal to stop imprisoning suspected undocumented immigrants.

Schumer tweeted that President Trump is “using the cover of the storm to pardon a man who violated a court’s order to stop discriminating against Latinos and ban courageous transgender men and women from serving our nation’s Armed Forces.”

Schumer added, “The only reason to do these right now is to use the cover of Hurricane Harvey to avoid scrutiny. So sad, so weak.”

As millions of people in TX and LA are prepping for the hurricane, the President is using the cover of the storm to 1/

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 26, 2017

Pardon a man who violated a court’s order to stop discriminating against Latinos and 2/

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 26, 2017

Ban courageous transgender men and women from serving our nation’s Armed Forces. 3/

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 26, 2017

Then he ran to Camp David.

The only reason to do these right now is to use the cover of Hurricane Harvey to avoid scrutiny 4/

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 26, 2017

So sad, so weak. 5/5

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 26, 2017

While Schumer did not mention the White House’s Friday announcement that the president’s adviser, Sebastian Gorka, had left his post as deputy assistant, it too was a controversial announcement. Gorka attracted an extraordinary amount of scrutiny during his time in the White House for his alleged tie to a far-right Hungarian nationalist group and his questionable national security résumé.

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