tv MSNBC Live MSNBC June 30, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT
this session. >> homeland security secretary jeh johnson responding to this morning's temporary lockdown at the military base used by president of the u.s. and so many american troops headed overseas and returning home. the u.s. on alert after the attack on turkey's airport. turkish media is reporting closed-circuit tv images purportly of the terrorists. there they are on your screen. nbc news not yet verifying these images. the death toll has risen to 44. secretary johnson saying among the 250 injured was one american who suffered only minor injuries. the nationalities of the three attackers are russian, uzbek and kyrgyz. turkish authorities arresting 22 people in isis-related raids, 13 in istanbul. we have reports from istanbul from new york and the west coast
where we're watching the state of security at our airports today. but we want to begin in istanbul with nbc's matt bradley. break down the latest on the investigation and what we're learning about these three individuals and whatever cell they may have been a part of. >> thanks, peter. the nationalities of the suspects, as you just mentioned, russian, kyrgyz and uzbek, these ten to draw jihadis into the upper ranks of islamic state. they populate the upper ranks of that group in their self-declared caliphate. today's news hardens turkish officials resolve that this was a islamic state attack but it's worth mentioning we're going on 48 hours since the attack and we haven't had a claim of responsibility. now that's not unprecedented but it is unusual. normally slate would back up something like this with a claim of responsibility. these people just arrested both here in istanbul and southern turkey, it's not clear what they were arrested for, whether they
were behind this investigation into the latest attack on tuesday or whether this is an ongoing investigation into the slate presence here in turkey. what is certain is that as you mention before the death toll rising to 44. just a couple hours ago there was a moving emotional ceremony at ataturk international behind me. it was the kind of thing you would expect to see at a memorial service. lots of flowers and tears but a strong noticeable strain of patriotism running through this whole event. the 10 employees killed in this attack, their pictures laid out in front of the huge turkish national flag. the whole thing ended with a rousing rendition of the turkish national anthem. that's because this airport isn't just a major travel hub for turkish citizens. this is the 11th largest airport in the world. it's a symbol of turkey's ambitions on the global theater. so this is really not just a
blow against these victims. it's a blow against the entire turkish national consciousness, peter. >> matt bradley at istanbul for us. thank you very much. my colleague, ammon mohyeldin has been looking into the stories of some of the victims. you've been tracking about a fascinating tale about a father killed in the attack at that airport. he was there to bring his son home, a young man who, as we understand it, had joined the fight for isis. what more have you learned? >> this is a heartbreaking story on so many different levels. we've learned from the tunisian foreign ministry who said a military officer, who is also a doctor working at one of the military hospitals, died in the attack at at turk airport. and when we look into why he was there, some of the details are the father was traveling to turkey to retrieve his son who
had joined isis. the father was a military doctor working at a military hospital. seven months ago his son anwar traveled to europe then from europe on to turkey where he made his way into iraq and ultimately joined isis there. a couple months ago when his father learned his son had gone to join isis he began to communicate with his son according to this family friend and tried to convince him to turn himself over to authorities and come back to tunisia. he made progress on that as we've learned. the son left syria, turned himself over to turkish authorities. the father had spent weeks in turkey working with turkish authorities and the tunisia embassy to secure his son's release. felt they were making progress. the mother was traveling that night from tunisia to turkey and that's why the father was at the airport. he was going to pick up his wife from the airport when the attack happened. as a result, the father was killed. the mother has arrived in istanbul. we are working on trying to get
her side of the details but these details were confirmed to us by a friend of the family who was able to shed light on this very heartbreaking story. victims in more ways than one, the son being radicalized taking the fight for isis and having a change of heart, wanting to come back home and the father who had risked everything, been on the road for two months trying to win his son's release back to bring him home to tunisia. now it seems the father will be returning dead, the mother still working on trying to secure the release of her son from turkish authorities. >> just one of 44 stories. that as compelling as any of them. appreciate your reporting on that. we want to bring in clint watts, a fellow with the foreign policy research institute. he served as an army infantry officer on a joint terrorism fact force. thanks for being with us right now. coalition forces in iraq report they've destroyed almost 200 isis vehicles near fallujah. in your opinion, based on that and their confidence that they
were -- it was a caravan carrying isis fighters, what is the state of the war against isis? >> i think we here in the most positive portion of that fight we've mean? the two years that there's been in slate. the convoy that was destroyed was a major convoy. as you're seeing the withdrawal from major cities it will have a corrosive effect on the morale inside the slate. so in terms of positive gains we're seeing the iraqis stepping up in the ground and in the their the past couple weeks. >> my colleague andrea mitch interviewed colonel chris garver, this is what he said comes next for the iraqi army there. >> we've started to bring in what we call the hold force which will be the police and local tribal fighters who help secure fallujah so if isis tries
to come back the city will be defended and the iraqi army will move on to its next target which, as everyone knows is, is mosul. >> as coalition forces take more ground from isis, do you expect isis to ramp up attacks outside the middle east? the bottom line is no matter what you do in their homeland, the ability to inspire via the internet, that defies any wall. >> they have to find success somewhere else to mobilize men and money to get their base rallied. the number one way to do that is with regional terror attacks. if you look at the past week we've seen suicide bombings in yemen, lebanon and we saw the big attack in istanbul. so they'll branch out in that direction. is you'll see what we called rear area suicide operation, vehicle born ieds in places like baghdad as they try and hit at n the soft target there is.
and the third component we'll see is this push online to rally their base. as they lose ground, they'll lose money. they depend on the caliphate and their islamic state for money. they will need to rally donors when they lose ground. >> does isis have the ability to conduct an attack here in the u.s. or is it simply that they have the ability to inspire attacks here in the u.s.? >> it's predominantly inspired attacks. they are hoping much like al qaeda tried to do in the anwar al awlaki era to inspire people in the homeland to undertake attacks on their own and they're better equipped to do that because they look for less sophistication. is as we saw with a person with mental issues in-year-old who pulled off a catastrophic attack if you look at san bernardino that's what they're hoping for. somebody will learn from other attacks they've seen. >> former fbi special agent, counterterrorism expert clint watts, thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> thank you, peter.
>> more now on how howe mesh airports are handling this heavy burden and high traffic of concerns of terror ahead of this fourth of july weekend. aaa reporting air traffic will be up three%. that means 375,000 people traveling by plane for the fourth. nbc's steve patterson parked outside los angeles international airport today. steve you here in the crowds of folks trying to get to their destinations. what are folks saying and how are airports handling these fears of terror in the homeland? >> peter as far as any actual security changes, changes to posturing that would affect the way security handles these lines and cues, the messages that we're getting across airports across the country is that none of that is changing. what is changing is the visibility. what we're seeing is more, more police and more places, more
canine units, many checkpointing. more security checks places we aren't used to seeing a big security presence. dropoff queues near airport arrivals. we've seen more of that have at l.a.x., chicago, new york, d.c. and places across the country. so we've been talking to an international terminal right now at l.a.x., been talking to a lot of different passengers who are traveling. we have one of them right now. this is pamela, pamela, you were traveling to brussels originally but now you're going to -- >> iceland. >> was that changed because of the terrorism attack? >> yes, definitely. my parents did not want to the go in anywhere in europe right now. >> so tell me, when you saw that attack and you knew you had travel plans, what went through your mind. >> i was mostly just worried for
everyone that lives there mostly. i feel like almost every week there's at least another attack in europe. >> is that changing the way you approach travel? the way you approach coming into an international terminal like this? >> a little. it makes me more nervous but i love traveling so much so i just suck it up. that's why we're going to iceland because it's more isolated from europe. >> have you seen increased security presence at places like these? >> yeah, i see more police around. >> pamela, good luck on your travel, hope you make the flight okay. but, yeah, we are seeing an increased presence in places like this where you'll see more canine units, more police in tactical gear. we even saw vehicle checkpointing as we came into the terminal here so this is happening at the confluence between the end of ramadan and then this july fourth holiday where there are a lot of talks from a lot of security agencies
about the possibility of increased attacks. so they're worried about that. what they're doing is a show of force, that's what we've seen so far, peter. >> steve patterson at the international terminal at l.a.x. iceland sounds pretty good. thanks for your time. we appreciate it. after suffering what may be the worst month of this election season, donald trump launching a new attack against republicans who refuse to back him. who's in his cross hairs? later this hour, exclusive new information about the rnc plan to shut down the never trump movement. we'll break that news ahead.
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defense, to take to the podium to speak about lifting the ban on transgender members and their ability to serve in the military. it would be the lifting of one of the last bans on service within the u.s. military when we hear from the secretary of defense. we will take you there live. donald trump's campaign troubles going from bad to worse as he wraps up what nbc's first read team is calling his most brutal month of the election season. a new fox news poll out this morning shows trump trailing clinton by six points. that's a seven-point drop since may, this as donald trump's fund-raising efforts remain in neutral. clinton holding a $40 million advantage over the represumptive party nominee. and donald trump adding fuel to the fire, calling out senator elizabeth warren earlier this morning in a radio interview. take a listen. >> she's a total do-nothing. she talks a good game and she
used her native american so-called phony native american to the us the to get institutions and help her career and i always say i have that more native american blood in me than she does, okay? and i bet you do, too. >> [ laughter ] probably so. >> last night in maine, trump slammed some of his primary rivals for refusing to back him. here's what he said. >> they signed a pledge saying they will abide. saying they will back the candidate of the party and now they sit back and the pledge is out there and the press doesn't even go after them on that. they broke their word in my opinion, they should never be allowed to run for public office again because what they did is disgraceful. >> for more we turn to ally jackson in manchester, new hampshire where donald trump
will deliver a speech on trade. former communications director and msnbc advisor rick tyler joining us as well. hallie, i'll start with you if i can. this is not the first time donald trump has made comments similar to this line of attack he's been using against elizabeth warren, is it? >> echo those remarks a couple decades ago back in 1993 when he filed this federal lawsuit revolving around casinos, on reservations controlled by native americans. he testified in front of congress on this. listen to what he said in 1939. you'll hear the similarities. >> the other thing is i'd like to know how many of these people are even indians to begin with. because i've looked at them and i have to tell you something, they don't look like indians to me and i've told a couple of them who came into my office i said i believe i have more indian blood in my veins than you have and i have none and they laugh. they think it's a joke.
>> okay, so flash forward now 23 years later, 2016, donald trump is not backing away from any of these comments about senator elizabeth warren. he's doubled down on them again and again, a line of attack he's held up for weeks and his supporters seem to be picking up on it as well. we were at that rally in bangor, maine, yesterday and one of his surrogates, howie carr, brought up elizabeth warren and from the back you heard shouts of "pocahontas" that nickname trump has called warren that many folks find offensive. >> hallie, if we can we'll play that howie car moment for a second. rick, i want to bring you into the conversation. this is howie carr mocking senator elizabeth warren, similar to the way donald trump has done and maybe taking ate step further. here's what it looked like. >> i heard hillary clinton and elizabeth warren campaigning. [ boos ] you know elizabeth warren, right?
>> so when carr was asked about that he said that trump told him whatever you do don't apologize. what do you make of a campaign that keeps up this type of rhetor rhetoric. as haley indicated, the people at his events seem to be into it but the question is not the people that show up at trump's events, it's the rest of the country he needs to bring on board to have a winning campaign. >> here's the problem. if donald trump has brought in what i call fans but a lot of his base support and he's probably kept a large number of those and right after he got the requisite number of delegates the party seemed to be rallying behind him. conservatives and establishment republicans seem to be getting on board. now there's appealing away and all hillary clinton needs to do is make this a referendum on donald trump, people really do want to change their leadership in washington but in the end the devil you know is better than the devil you don't and hillary clinton is a certainty not to change anything. we would get more of the same. donald trump, people believe, would change anything but now
they're beginning to question and it's all because of self-inflicted rhetoric like this. instead of casting a vision for what do you get with a president donald trump and a republican congress, we are talking about, you know, these kinds of things and whether elizabeth warren is native american or not. >> hallie, buzzfeed, by the way, we keep with this rich history of donald trump which is providing all sorts of fodder for conversation, the latest from buzzfeed, a new report about trump reportedly eavesdropping on the staff of his exclusive resort estate, ha mar-a-lago, what can you tell us about that? >> buzzfeed is reporting six sources indicate trump had this kind of switch board or call center in his private area at mar-a-lago and four of those soushszs, sources say trump was able to listen in on phone calls made on land lines to employees to other
people, staff members or perhaps guests. to be clear, the campaign has pushed back very hard on this. spokesperson hope hicks telling buzzfeed it was not true, factually incorrect but it is -- as he has turned the corner now the general election peter, we continue to see almost everyday more and more stories looking back, mining trump's history, looking at his positions, policies and some stories like this that folks, many of them, just find interesting. >> rick, we're barely two and a half weeks out to the convention. the vp choice, the convention, the debates left for donald trump to make a show. how important is that convention coming up for him to deliver a message and make up for what's been a bad several weeks? >> i think it will be incredibly important. the convention has been sort of a focus because people have been looking at it whether there's going to be a contested convention and it appears it probably won't be contested but donald trump has to come out of that convention strong and he's got to show his donors and his supporters and where he's
losing, he's losing men, he's losing people without college degrees, this is his base, those people are getting peeled off. and he's got to go beyond that. he's got to show people with big ideas what they get with donald trump as president and so far he hasn't done that. >> rick tyler, hallie jackson, thank you very money. we appreciate. >> it thanks, peter. new polls in key battleground states showing clinton and trump may need to change strategy to win in november. we're going to drill down on these new numbers next.
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everything. mark, let's go through this. let's start in places like florida which may be what it comes down to, and north carolina. what does clinton's lead look like in those places. >> double digits. and while that may end up surprising people, we've seen other polls that have shown some kind of big leads for hillary clinton, particularly in florida. every poll that's been out there has hadder in the lead. it's worth noting these democracy corps polls are from a democratic polling firm so people may say "wait a second." but what do florida and north carolina have in common? ers this -- they are diverse states with young populations. >> we'll put up nevada and ohio where the races are effectively neck in neck. ohio striking, clinton's invested about three trip there is in the last three weeks, donald trump making his first trip there since he became the presumptive nominee. what i'm struck by is the name in black at the end, gary johnson 9% in nevada, 14% in
ohio. is that a wild card? are those numbers that could go anywhere right now or you don't know what to think? >> we have to continue to monitor him but usually those numbers get smaller closer to election day, particularly if someone like gary johnson doesn't make the presidential debate stage. >> where are they inclined to go? a johnson voter is inclined to be what -- >> it could be a protest vote or a republican. but i think sometimes people who say i'm a gary johnson voter or a jill stein voter, those people don't show up to the polls. it's something we'll watch througho throughout. >> it's hard to imagine anybody not showing up in the polls. pennsylvania, wisconsin, and michigan, these critical states, pennsylvania a state where donald trump has increasingly made it clear "i think this is one where i'm going to pick off." where do they stand? >> that poll shows a tied race in ohio. for donald trump to have that midwest strategy, he not only
has to win ohio but pennsylvania and michigan and wisconsin. looks like he's doing well in one state so far but the other ones, particularly pennsylvania, michigan, hillary clinton seems to be very comfortable. again, caution this is one groupigrou grouping of polls. we'll get so many over the next four months but hillary clinton doing very well in the diverse state, donald trump maybe doing okay in ohio. but we'll wait for the next polls. >> even as we wait, the bottom line is what it looks more often than not is what it looks like when we come back after labor day. so we'll get a better snapshot of where this may be. >> and florida is important. if the democrats win florida it's hard to see how republicans get to 270. >> double digit lead for hillary clinton right now. thank you. breaking news from the pentagon on new rules for transgender service members. we'll take you there live after a short break.
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breaking news on msnbc live. this in the republican national convention and the first punch in the fight to lock in trump. msnbc's chief correspondent is ari melber. he has the actual rule proposal. ari, what are we learning that we can break for our audience now. >> this is brand new first on msnbc. so much talk about the anti-trump movement and efforts to affect the rules at this convention to possibly find a way out of nominating donald trump which is what would happen under the typical rules and we've heard about the conscience clause and other avenues. today marty house and myself at our legal unit we have obtained the first big rule headed for the cleveland convention. it is an amendment that would lock in donald trump how? it would take these threats of new rules that might change the
delegates or allow for people to do different things, voting against their states and it would wipe that away and basically say we, republicans, are going to keep the rules from last time which we know those kinds of rules favor the presumptive nominee, that's the normal thing when you win the primaries and it says any of these new rules, conscience clauses, if they go into effect it would be in 2020. in other words kicking the coal can down the road. this is basically a way to deal with something that's been reported on a lot, a well-funded campaign with some rnc insiders to try to dump trump. so it's interesting, all of these are drafts, proposals, but we are starting to see what this looks like. the folks who want to lock in trump have at least one plan which is simple, clear, which they say sounds fire, this is an oregon delegate who tells msnbc he has not endorsed anyone in the republican primary but they just say, hey, let's not change the rules in the middle of the game, let's keep the rules that turn the presumptive nominee into the nominee at the
convention. >> to be clear, the rules committee will gather for the first time in that week that precedes the convention. this was the big wrinkle as we were looking at donald trump's campaign and as his campaign related to those hoping to knock him off the stump right now. how does this go if here? does this go into effect at that time? is that when the decision making will take place? >> i'm going to try to keep this as non-boring as possible. the draft rules go to a standing republican committee then they go to the convention committeened that committee by friday before the convention passes out a rules package and typically the delegates on the floor accept that and normal business proceeds. so this is an attempt to have a silver bullet. instead of getting waylayed on conscience clause and other things we've heard from the anti-trump crowd, this is one way to say forget it, we're keeping the twelve rules, we know those lock in the nominee and everyone else can wait and move on for later.
this is not the only way it gets resolved but it's one way through two committees, a delegate floor vote and according to the folks pushing this rule, simpler movement to what conventions are usually about which is rallying around the nominee. >> as a non-partisan arbiter i would say that was fairly low on the boring scale. you handled it well. appreciate you breaking that news for us. we are learning more about the suspects from overseas as authorities continue to investigate that awful attack at an airport in istanbul. a new video posted by a turkish newspaper from what looks to be an airport security camera shows purportedly one of the attackers shooting a plain clothed police officered in the terminal. we're learning more about those attackers. police sources telling nbc news they were russian, uzbek and kyrgyz. turkish media have been showing these closed circuit pictures reportedly of the suspects but they have not been verified by nbc news. it comes as authorities raided
homes in turkey arresting at least 13 people in connection with the attack. meanwhile, the victims are being remembered by those who survived. istanbul's airport setting up a memorial to the airport staff, ten of them who lost their looifts. travelers swils workers joining together to sing turkey's national anthem today. a few report that house republicans may move on an anti-terrorism package that includes provisions that would attempt to stop terrorists from purchasing guns. nbc's luke russert is joining us from the bill with the latest. give us a sense of what house republicans are planning to do. this is a heated debate as we witness the filibuster in house terms with democrats sitting in on the floor last week. >> that's right, peter. we should caution this is all fluid. there is a house gop conference call this morning where all the members participated and heard from speaker ryan and a source on that call told nbc news that when the house comes back next
week they're going to move forward on legislation pertaining to anti-terrorism. they're going to try and figure out ways to disrupt radicalization here at home but more importantly in the interesting tinteres interesting tidbit is an aide tells me they're going to vote on a provision to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns. as you recall, that was one of the main points of contention democrats had was that the house had not voted on that legislation. now is it fair to say speaker ryan heard the house democrats and will move forward on legislation they would like regard nothing fly no buy, that if you're on the terrorist watch list you can't purchase a weapon? i wouldn't go that far. remember, these bills were voted on in the senate and there are republican and democratic versions. from what i'm told, expect the republican version to be released tomorrow and expect it to look more like the cornyn amendment which is essentially if you're on the terrorist watch list you cannot purchase a weapon but there's a three-day
waiting period where the department of justice has to prove their case that, in fact, you are a terrorist and democrats have said the burden of proof is too difficult for that. so it might not be what the house democrats want but perhaps we'll see them get a vote on what they're calling for in some capacity through different parliamentary procedural tactics. >> a lot of this focused on the republican demand to make sure due process is carried out. luke russert is at the hill, we appreciate it. we've been taking you live to airports to check on security after the wake of that terror attack in istanbul. the airports across the country on heightened alert as well. join our conversation on today's microsoft pulse question, as we're heading into the holiday weekend, are you concerned about safety and security at america airports? . the pulse is live right now we want your thoughts. log on to pulse.msnbc do co.com. we'll be listening in a few
minutes to ash carter on the status of transgender service members. but first, here's a verge update. amazon continues to eat into the business of brick and mortar retail outlets and walmart is competing nationally with amazon prime. walmart's two-day delivery service is called shipping pass. the company is offering a 30 day free trial. shipping pass costs $49 versus amazon prime which costs $99. amazon prime comes with a slew of additional entertainment content and other features but walmart is making it clear it's prepared to spend big to compete. that's the update, check out more on theverge.com.
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has ever known. our mission is to defend this country. and we don't want barriers unrelated to a person's qualification to service preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or marine who can best accomplish the mission. we have to have access to 100% of america's population for our all-volunteer force to be able to recruit from among them the most highly-qualified and to retain them now while there isn't definitive data on the number of transgender service members, rand looked at the existing studies out there and their best estimate was that about 2,500 people out of approximately 1.3 million active duty service members and about 1500 out of approximately 825,000 reserve service members are transgender, with the upper end of their range of estimates
of around 7,000 in the active component and 4,000 in the reserves. although relatively few in number, we're talking about talented and trained americans serving their country with honor and distinction, we invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to train and develop each individual and and we want to take the opportunity to retain people whose talent we've invested in and who've proven themselves, this brings me to the second reason which is that the reality is that we have transgender service members serving in uniform today and i have a response to them and to their commanders to provide them both with clearer and more consistent guidance than provided by by current policy we owe commanders better guidance on how to handle questions such as deployment, medical treatment and other matters. and this is particularly true for small-unit leaders like our
senior enlisteds and junior officers. also right now most of our transgender service members must go outside the military medical system in order to obtain medical care that is judged by doctors to be necessary and they have to pay for it out of their own pockets. this is inconsistent with our promise to all our troops that we will take care of them and pay for necessary medical treatment. i and the department's other senior leaders who have been studying this issue over the past year have met with some of these transgender service members, they've deployed all over the world, serving on aircraft, submarines, forward operating bases and right here in the pentagon and while i learned that in most cases their peers and local commanders have recognized the value of retaining such high-quality people i also learned that the lack of clear guidelines for how to handle this issue puts the commanders and the service members in a difficult and
unfair position. one service member i met with described how some people urged him to leave the military because the challenges he was facing with our policies and he said he just wouldn't quit. he was too committed to the mission and this is where he wanted to be. these are the kind of people we want serving in our military. the third and final reason for the change also important is a matter of principle, americans who want to serve and can meet our standards should be afforded the opportunity to compete to do so, after all, our all-volunteer force is built upon having the most qualified americans and the profession of arms is based on honor and trust, army chief of staff general millie recently reminded us of this when he said, and i quote him, "the united states army is open to all americans who meet the standard, regardless of who they
are." embed within our constitution is that very principle that all americans are free and equal and we as an army are sworn to protect and defend that very principal and we are sworn to even die for that principle. so if we in uniform are willing to die for that principle then we in uniform should be willing to live by that principle. that's general millie. in view of these three reasons to change our policy, last july i directed the commencement of a study to identify the practical issues related to transgender americans serving openly and to develop an implementation plan that addresses those issues consistent with military readiness because our mission, which is defending the country, has to come first, i directed the working group to start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military
effectiveness and readiness unless and except where objective practical impediments are identified. i think it's fair to say this has been an educational process for a lot of people here in the department, including me. we had to look carefully and deliberately at medical, legal, and policy considerations that have been evolving very rapidly in recent years and we had to take into account the unique nature of military readiness and make sure we got it right. i'm proud of the thoughtful and deliberate manner which the department's leadership has pursued this review, i've been guided throughout by one central question. is someone the best qualified service member to accomplish our mission? . let me now describe the process we used to study this over the last year the leadership of the
armed services, the joint chiefs of staff, the secretaries, myself, together with personnel, training, readiness and medical specialists from acrass the department of defense studied all the data available to us, we also had the rand corporation analyze relevant data and studies to help us with our review and we got input from transgender service members, from outside expert groups and medical professionals outside of the department. we looked carefully at what lessons could be learned from the outside, including from allied militaries that already allow transgender service members to serve openly and from the private sector also because even though we're not a business rand different from a company in important ways, their experience and practices are still relevant. it's worth noting, for example, that at least 18 countries already allow transgender personnel to serve openly in their military. these include close allies such
as the united kingdom, israel and australia and we were able to study how they dealt with this issue. we also saw that among doctors, employers employers, and insurance companies today, providing medical care for transgender individuals is becoming common and normalized, in both public and private sectors alike. today, over a third of fortune 500 companies, including companies like boeing, cvs, and ford, offer employee health insurance plans with transgender inclusive coverage. that's up from zero such companies in 2002. similarly, nondiscrimination policies at two-thirds of fortune 500 companies now cover gender identity, up from just 3% in 2002. and for the public sector, all civilian federal employees have
access today to health insurance plans that provide comprehensive coverage for transgender-related care and medical treatment. all this represents a sea change from even just a decade ago. based on its analysis of military and the expected rate at american transgender service members would require medical treatment that would impact their fitness for duty or employability, rand's analyst predicted there would be minimal impact from allowing transgender members to serve openly. in terms of cost, rand predicted that health care costs would represent a succeedingly small proportion of dod's health care expenditures. as a result of this year-long study, i'm announcing today we're ending the ban on transgender americans in the united states military. effective immediately, transgender americans may serve openly.
and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender. additionally, i have directed that the gender identity of an otherwise qualified individual will not bar them from military service or from any succession program. in taking these steps, we're eliminating policies that would result in transgender members being treated differently from their peers, based solely upon their gender identity rather than upon their ability to serve. and we're confirming that going forward, we will apply the same general principles, standards, and procedures to transgender service members, as we do to all service members. what i heard from the transgender service members i met with overwhelmingly is they don't want special treatment. they want to be held to the same standards and be treated like everybody else. as i directed, the study identified practical issues that arise with respect to transgender service. and it developed an implementation plan to address
those issues. let me briefly describe that implementation plan. i want to emphasize that in this case, as in the department's decisions on don't ask, don't tell, and women in service, simply declaring a change in policy is not effective implementation. that's why we have worked hard on the implementation plan and must continue to do so. these policies will be implemented in stages over the next 12 months, starting most immediately with guidance for current service members and their commanders, followed by training for the entire force, and then beginning to access new military service members who are transgender. implementation will begin today. starting today, otherwise qualified service members can no longer be in voluntarily separated discharged or denied reenlistment or continuation of service just for being transgender. then, no later than 90 days from
today, the department will complete and issue both a commander's guidebook for leading currently serving -- for leaders of currently serving transgender members, and medical guidance to doctors for providing transition-related care, if required, to currently-serving transgender service members. our military treatment facilities will begin providing transgender service members with all medically necessary care, based on that medical guidance. also starting on that date, service members will be able to initiate the process to officially change their gender in our personnel management systems. next, over the nine months that follow, based on detailed guidance and training materials that will be prepared, the services will conduct training of the force, from commanders to medical personnel to the operating force and recruiters. when the training is complete,
no later than one year from today, the military services will begin kzing transgender individuals who meet all standards. holding them to the same mental and physical standards as everyone else who wants to join the military. our initial secession policy will require an individual to have completed any medical treatment that their doctor has determined is necessary in connection with their gender transition, and to have been stable in their identified gender in 18 months, as certified by their doctor, before they can enter the military. i've directed that this succession standard be reviewed no later than 24 months from today to ensure that it reflects what we learn over the next two years, as this is implemented, as well as the most up to date medical knowledge. i've discussed the implementation plan with our
senior military leaderses. the chief set specific recommendations about the timeline and i made adjustments to the implementation timeline to incorporate those recommendations. chairman has indicated the services support the final implementation timeline that i've laid out today. overall, the policies we're issuing today will allow us to assess, excuse me, access talent of transgender service members to strengthen appropriate of our mission, qualified guidance for commanders and military medical providers, and reflect better the departments and our nati's principles. i nt to close by emphasizing that deliberate and thoughtful implementation will be key. i and the senior leaders of the department will therefore be ensuring that all issues identified in this study are addressed in implementation. i'm confident they can and will be addressed in implementation. that's we're taking the step-by-step approach described.
>> and i'm 100% confident in the ability of our military leaders and all our men and women in uniform to implement these changes in a manner that both protects the readiness of the force, and also upholds values cherished by the military. honor, trust, and judging every individual on their merits. i'm also confident that we have reason to be proud today of what this will mean for our military. because it's the right thing to do, and it's another step in ensuring that we continue to recruit and retain the most qualified people. and good people are the key to the best military in the world. our military and the nation it defends will be stronger. thank you. and now i'll take some questions. do you want to start? >> sure. can you talk about -- i know you spoke about the cost to health care. are there other costs associated with this implementation plan? and could you elaborate a bit on
the timing issue, the adjustments in timing you spoke to. >> with respect to costs, and peter lavine will be here later and prepared to answer questions in depth. but the reason that rand concluded that costs would be minimal is that the medical treatment that service members who are currently transgender require is fairly straight forward, well understood. they were able to make those estimates. and that was, as they said, minimal. and with respect to accessing new members, as i indicated, they will have already completed and been stable in their transition for a period of not less than 18 months before they could access services and medical costs associated with that. and with respect to the
timetable for implementation. the -- as i indicated in the stages, the preparation of the medical guidance, that's up to the doctors who need to do that so doctors and military treatment facilities all have a standard protocol. giving them 90 days to do that, that's what they asked for. the commander's guidance, as i indicated, the chairman and the chiefs asked for 90 days to prepare that commander's guidance. and the training guidance. and i agreed to that. i think that's reasonable, that's the amount of time it will take them to complete the job. obviously, they've begun some of that. and then the rest of the time is time to train the force, which is comparable to the time we took to train the force in don't ask, don't tell. we do have some experience in this kind of thing and we're following that template to
successful implementation. >> a question on, it's a sensitive subject, but -- >> go ahead. >> there's a report today that spoke to a proposal to strengthen coordination, military coordination, with russia in targeting al nusra in syria. and i'm just wondering, is there -- you've been skeptic in the past about cooperating with russia militarily in syria, given that their motives are different than those of the united states. has something changed? would you support -- >> we do have a professional relationship with the russian military, to make sure there are no incidents and no safety issues, as we both operate in the neighboring areas of syria. but i've said before, that russians got off on the wrong foot in syria. they said that they were coming in to fight isil and that they would assist the political transition in syria, towards a post-assad government that could run the country and