CNN's Barbara Starr was literally dumbfounded this morning as she described the Joint Chiefs response to Trump's bizarre firing of our transgender soldiers in yesterday's tweets.
I've covered the veteran CNN Pentagon correspondent for thirteen years and she's very cautious and precise in her reporting and she takes her job seriously.
She's so precise that closed captioning transcripts are almost perfectly accurate when she speaks.
Starr joined Kate Bolduan's show after the Joint Chiefs released a carefully crafted statement in response to the firing of all transgender soldiers in the military, which has caused total confusion in the military world
After reading the statement, Starr said, "You may notice in that statement, there is no portion of it which states specific support for President Trump's ban."
And Trump is the leader of the military.
She continued, "Anything that comes out of the chairman's office is very carefully crafted and screened because of the position he holds. So, here is where we are. More than 24 hours later, the big question, one of the most central questions, transgender persons serving right now in the United States military, will they, in fact, be forcibly discharged from military service? No one knows."
No one knows.
Kate replied, "It seems all these questions are getting something of an answer, maybe from the joint chiefs chairman, but it's not the answer that, - that answer is not coming from the White House. How this has played out, Barbara, is truly startling."
Starr replied, You know, the old cliche, I have never seen anything like it? I have never seen anything like this."
Starr then outlined what had transpired.
"First of all, it starts seriously with a military policy made by Twitter. The WH press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Secretary Mattis and others were informed after the president made his decision."
"The chiefs, the heads of the services, General Dunford did not know that tweet was coming and the military is scrambling to catch up. That is exactly what the United States military never wants to do. These are not people who want to scramble. They want guidance, you know, these are national security matters that they take seriously and more than 24 hours later, we also have not heard from defense secretary Mattis," Starr said.
When Barbara Starr says she's never seen anything like this before, she ain't lying.