This Is CNN: Wolf Attacks GOP Rep Over Transgender Ban; Gives Softball Interview to Friendly Democrat

July 26th, 2017 5:01 PM

CNN’s liberal bias was on full display as Wolf Blitzer relentlessly attacked Republican Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler over her support of President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals within the military. Blitzer grilled Hartzler on virtually every single argument she made ranging from cost effectiveness to the morality of the decision. It was a stark contrast to the interview given to Democratic Congressman Scott Peters afterwards. Blitzer gave Peters ample time to bash supporters of the ban while offering no pushback whatsoever to any of the talking points offered.

Hartzler offered measured arguments in defense of the ban and explained how her concerns centered around the costs and requirements necessary to support the needs of transgendered persons within the armed forces. Naturally, this was an insufficient reason in the eyes of Blitzer and he rudely questioned where the Congresswoman had managed to dig up such information.

Ironically enough, Peters cited similar concerns to Hartzler with regards to spending for the military, but came out against the ban due to it being “backwards” and “distracting.” Instead of bringing up any of Hartzler’s concerns, however, Blitzer allowed the Congressman to drone on about the injustice of the ban without addressing any of his argument's logical fallacies.

The full interviews went as follows:

WOLF BLITZER: Congresswoman, thanks so much for joining us.

VICKY HARTZLER: You bet, glad to be here.

BLITZER: So you tweeted today. Let me read your tweet, quote, pleased to hear that @realDonald Trump shares my readiness and cost concerns and will be changing this costly and damaging policy, #readiness. So, why do you disagree with the chairman of the senate armed services committee John McCain?

HARTZLER: Because I have looked at this issue very, very closely and this policy is going to cost $1.35 billion over the next ten years alone just for the sex reassignment surgeries of the transgender members of our service. That equals to 13 F-35 airplanes that we could buy with that or 14 F-18s. I am very concerned with the defense cuts that we have had over the last several years and we need to invest every defense dollar to meet the threat we are facing right now as a nation.

BLITZER: Where did you get those numbers?

HARTZLER: Well, they came from a very strong analysis of how many transgenders the Navy said that we believe are currently serving and then we went to the transgender advocacy groups that have said that 33% of transgender individuals go through the surgeries. And looking at the costs of the surgeries that's where we get those dollars. But others think it could go as high as $3.7 billion.
BLITZER: There's a RAND study which gives the very opposite, it would just be a few million dollars a year to allow transgendered personnel to serve openly in the military. So I'm asking you specifically where is that study?

HARTZLER: Well we have real concerns with the Rand study,  we believe that's very flawed--

BLITZER: Congresswoman, with all due respect, the name of the study you're referring to.

HARTZLER: Well, our own office did that analysis and we feel very confident in it. There's one that's done by the family recourse committee that says 3.7 billion. The question is though, should we be spending any tax dollars to do gender reassignment surgery when we have soldiers who don't have body armor or bullets. We need to be investing every dollar that we have to meet the threats we're facing as a nation.

BLITZER: The "Washington Post" just posted an article noting that another study which says, and I'll put it up on the screen, that 18 countries allow transgender personnel to serve openly in the military including Australia, Israel, Britain, Sweden and Canada. None of those countries, "The Washington Post" reports, are experiencing ill effects from opening up their armed services to the transgender community. These are very strong militaries I assume you agree, Australia, Israel, Britain among others. They don't have a problem, why should the US have a problem?

HARTZLER: Well, we have the best and strongest military in the world and its up to us to make the policies that are best for our military moving forward and, certainly, we need to spend every defense dollar where we need to. And this has been a real concern, not only for morale and for retention and for a lot of different areas. So, I applaud the president for making these very decisive, bold steps and saying we're going to prior -- prioritize our spending.

BLITZER: A lot of people have served in the military, I take it you've never served in the military right?

HARTZLER: No, that's correct. My dad was in the army reserves and I'm very proud of him as well as all the members in my district that I represent.

BLITZER: But we've spoken to a lot of military reservists, military activists, military personnel. They point out they heard the same arguments about allowing gay individuals to serve openly in the US military, as you know, that is now allowed and there are very few problems at all. What do you say to that?

HARTZLER: It's a totally different policy change here, these are individuals that have medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria which could require very costly medical treatment. I had an intern that was denied the ability to go into the military because she had a bunion on her foot and the argument was that this may cost the military and she may have to go through surgery. Right now we have people that cannot serve in the military with asthma or flat feet so why would we allow individuals to come in, although they're very patriotic and they have a desire to serve, but who have these medical issues that could be very, very costly. We shouldn't make an exception in this case.

BLITZER: One final question Congresswoman, The Secretary of Defense, General Mattis, retired General Mattis, he said he wanted six months to study it and it's only been one month. All of a sudden, the President issues this new announcement this morning, don't you think the president should have at least given the defense department, the secretary of defense, General Mattis an opportunity to complete his study before the President acted?

HARTZLER: No, because right now is when individuals serving in the military from last year's policy are starting to go through the hormone treatment process and the surgeries and they're going to be very, very costly.

BLITZER: So, do you want to kick all of them out of the military? Do you want to kick them out of the military?

HARTZLER: Now we're doing our defense spending and we have to make that decision now.

BLITZER: Congresswoman, those service members who are transgender service members serving actively in the U.S. Military right now, should they be kicked out?

HARTZLER: Well, I think the details will need to be worked out, but we need to certainly focused our military on those who are able to fight tonight. And if you have this surgery you can't be deployed for almost 300 days and somebody else has to go in your place. So there's a lot of valid reasons to keep the policy from the past, to make sure every soldier is deployable and to make sure that every dollar goes to meet the threat.

BLITZER: But, as you know there are a lot of service members who aren't deployed to fight, they have desk jobs and they do a very honorable job in that process as well, right?

HARTZLER: Absolutely, but this is the right policy and I applaud the president for being as decisive as commander and chief and ensuring our military readiness.

BLITZER: All right, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, thanks very much for joining us.  

WOLF BLITZER: Congressman thanks very much for joining us.

SCOTT PETERS: Hey Wolf, good to be with you.

BLITZER: I don't know if you heard the interview, but Congresswoman Hartzler says it's expensive, it would be disruptive, the President is absolutely right in reinstating this ban, your reaction?

SCOTT PETERS: I can't think of anything more backward than telling young American men and women who want to serve in our all-voluntary army that they can't help defend our country because of their gender identity. I just think it's wrong. I think this week in particular we ought to be focused on the real threats in America in readiness and in acquisition and in building a defense budget that protects our men and women serving us abroad.

BLITZER: Do you have a good understanding of what this decision by the President announced today on Twitter means for maybe the 6,000 or 7,000, or 8,000 transgender military personnel on active duty right now?

PETERS: Well, I think that's up in the air right now and the department's been very clear on this. Back from 2015 and 2015 that people-- The 5,000 or 6,000 people serving in the military today will get to continue to serve. And the tweet, you know, by its nature, 140 characters, is fairly ambiguous on that, I think we want to clear that up. But we also want to let the Department of Defense finish its own study of what would happen to allow new enlistees to come in who are transgender. I think they're going to find the same thing that the department found in 2016, through a study by the RAND corporation that there's no impact on readiness, no impact on morale or cohesion and virtually no cost.

BLITZER: The president actually used three tweets to announce this new policy change, 8:55 A.M., 9:04 A.M., 9:08 A.M. He announced it on twitter in three tweets so he had more 133 characters available for this announce. Is there anything you or other members of congress can do about this?

PETERS: Well, I filed an amendment  today that the rules committee will consider when it starts meeting at 3:00 to prevent this kind of action. We actually had an amendment on the floor when we approved the NDAA, the defense budget authorization, we are able to defeat that with bipartisan support, 24 Republicans voted against her amendment. It's the same policy and we want to defeat it again with the amendment that I filed this morning.

BLITZER: And you think it has a chance of passing the House and Senate?

PETERS: I expect those same 24 Republicans will be with us, because they know this is a distraction, we have got real issues. My district has seven military bases including Marine Corps air station Miramar where they are literally cannibalizing planes, they're taking parts out of some fighter jets to put them into other fighter jets to keep them flying. We need to provide the right material, the right acquisition, the right readiness for our troops. That's the discussion we should be having this week, not this awful side show that's discriminatory and wrong.

BLITZER: Democratic Congressman Scott Peterson from California, thanks for joining us.

This biased segment of Wolf was brought to you by Golden Corral, Men's Warehouse, and Gorilla Glue.