- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - U.S. Rep. David Cicilline and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed are among the Rhode Island politicians criticizing President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would bar transgender people from serving in the military.

Cicilline, who is gay, tweeted out shortly after Wednesday’s announcement that transgender service members are heroes. The Republican president should “stop using them as political props,” he wrote.

Fellow Democrat Reed, the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, pointed out that Wednesday was the anniversary of President Harry Truman’s order desegregating the United States Armed Forces.

“This was a divisive political move that exposes the President’s lack of faith in the professionalism of our Armed Forces. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, every American who is brave enough to serve their country should be free to do so,” Reed said in a statement.

Another Democrat, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, said he was appalled by the president’s tweets.

“If the Department of Defense is to issue any ‘revised guidance,’ it must treat our transgender servicemembers with the same respect and dignity we afford each and every person within our ranks,” Langevin said in a statement. “To do otherwise is discriminatory and unjust.”

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