On the heels of Trump's announcement to ban transgender people from the U.S. armed forces, The Daily Show proved that Trump's struggle to pronounce "LGBTQ" has been well documented — and that maybe America shouldn't be surprised about Trump's plans to prohibit transgender military service.
"Because even though Trump always claimed he was for the LGBTQ rights, he never seemed fully comfortable in that identity," said host Trevor Noah, right before showing a montage of Trump awkwardly trying to get the order of LGBTQ right (starts at 1:15 in the clip). A helpful YouTuber also made a compilation of Trump mispronouncing or clumsily saying LGBTQ.
Weird pronunciation aside, the clips also show that Trump promoted himself as an LGBTQ ally in the past. During his 2016 election campaign against Hillary Clinton, Trump notably pledged:
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
This is why his intent to reinstate a version of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for transgender individuals is a stark contrast to Trump's past statements on LGBTQ rights, for which advocates have many receipts. In a 2000 interview by The Advocate, back when he was still considering a presidential run, Trump said he supported gays in the military, although he didn't specifically address trans Americans.
In the same interview, Trump said when it came to hiring people for his administration, "I'm looking for brains and experience. If the best person for the job happens to be gay, I would certainly appoint them."
Before showing the greatest hits of Trump's awkward LGBTQ pronunciation, Noah broached at least two claims in the president's tweets and questioned their accuracy.
Regarding the consultation, the Pentagon was supposedly unaware that the transgender ban was coming and is reportedly planning to lift the ban already.
As for the medical costs, Noah said that the medical costs for transgender service members took up 0.001% of the $584 billion total military budget in 2016.
After Noah dismantled Trump's tweets, two transgender army veterans sat down with The Daily Show host to explain the consequences of Trump's order. Under Obama in 2016, former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter ended the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military, but allowed the Pentagon a year to review how it would accept new transgender recruits. The veterans told Noah that military personnel who had been "lured out into the open" during the Obama era could find their health and education benefits in jeopardy after being discharged, and possibly barred from working in a federal government position again.
An estimated 15,000 personnel would be affected by the transgender ban. The move comes after Defense Secretary James Mattis announced last month, upon Carter's one-year review deadline, that he will delay implementation of a new policy that would allow transgender people to join the military. In a memo obtained by CNN, Mattis said the Department of Defense must measure how the policy decision would affect the "readiness and lethality of the force" and "ability of America's military to defend the nation."