"It’s been a very difficult situation and I think I’m doing a lot of people a favour by coming out and just saying it."
Michaela Morgan

11 Aug 2017 - 11:00 AM  UPDATED 11 Aug 2017 - 11:00 AM

President Trump has spoken about his proposal to ban all transgender people from the military at a press conference in Bedminster, New Jersey—where he has been on holidays for the last two weeks. 

Despite widespread backlash from politiciansmilitary leaders and public figures,  Trump has doubled down on his support for the ban. 

Speaking at his Bedminster golf club, the president commented that it's been a "very difficult situation". 

Five transgender soldiers are suing Trump over the military ban
“These plaintiffs put their lives on the line every day for all of us. We can’t afford to lose a single one of them.”

“I have great respect for the community," he said, referring to transgender people. 

"I think I’ve had great support, or I’ve had great support from that community. I got a lot of votes. But the transgender, the military’s working on it now.

"It’s been a very difficult situation and I think I’m doing a lot of people a favour by coming out and just saying it. As you know, it’s been a very complicated issue for the military, it’s been a very confusing issue for the military, and I think I’m doing the military a great favour.”

There’s been a huge spike in calls to LGBT+ crisis hotlines after Trump’s anti-trans tweet
“Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and legislation directly leads to crisis among our community’s young people."

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA)—the United States' largest LGBT+ military spouses group—has called the comments "outrageous". 

“President Trump’s shameful comments are an absolute insult to our nation’s armed forces and a slap in the face to the thousands of transgender service members who are willing to risk their lives every day for this country,” AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack said in a statement

“Their selfless service and sacrifice for this nation is no ‘complicated issue.’ Military leadership and the far majority of Americans support all of our nation’s heroes, and President Trump should start doing the same.”