DHS Says Expect to See Enhanced Security; Trump Makes Case Against Free Trade Deals; Ash Carter/Pentagon Briefing on



Against Free Trade Deals; Ash Carter/Pentagon Briefing on

Transgenders. Aired 1:30-2p ET>


[13:30:00] JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Since Brussels, we have enhanced security at airports around the nation. Since the Brussels attack in March, our TSA VIPR teams have been more visible at airports and at transit centers generally. The American public should expect to see this July 4th weekend, an enhanced security presence at airports, train stations, other transit centers across the country.


BRIANNE KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go to CNN's Rene Marsh, her home away from home, Reagan National Airport, outside Washington, D.C.

Rene, Jeh Johnson saying expect to see enhanced security presence. What does that entail?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Right. He laid it out today that the TSA VIPR team, a specialized team assigned to do random searches on passengers. They do those to prevent a terrorist attack. He said people would notice increased presence of state and local law enforcement at places like airports.

The situation is this. This is the first line of defense at airports across the country. At this day and age, the concern is the soft target. That's essentially all of this area, any part of the airport before you get to the security checkpoint. That is a concern. That's what we are hearing. Several airports throughout the country saying they're increasing police presence so that they can better monitor the area. But if you talk to anyone, whether it be law enforcement or anyone else, they'll tell you it's almost impossible to totally eliminate that vulnerability, so they understand there is that vulnerability here within the soft target. But they feel that this added presence does add another layer of security.

KEILAR: Rene Marsh, at Reagan Airport, thanks for that.

Coming up, you're looking at live pictures from the Pentagon. This is what we are monitoring. In a few minutes, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is expected to announce changes to the military transgender policy. As soon as that starts, we will bring it to you live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [13:36:31] KEILAR: You're looking at live pictures from the Pentagon where Defense Secretary Ash Carter is expected to come out any moment with a big announcement. We are awaiting him. It is expected to be a very major announcement about transgender men and women who serve in the U.S. military. We will bring that to you live.

Donald Trump is expected to make his case against free trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA shortly. The presumptive Republican nominee is on the attack, calling out the Chamber of Commerce, the president, and his own party over what he sees as poorly negotiated deals.

Chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, joins us to talk about this.

Christine, what is Trump's issue with deals like NAFTA? What would happen if it went away?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: He's saying these deals, trade deals, are made by stupid people in the American government selling away American manufacturing workers and it's killing jobs. What's so interesting to me is that you're seeing a trade war, if you will, right now between the Chamber of Commerce, usually backed Republican candidate. The "Wall Street Journal" editorial page and President Obama are on the same side against the Donald Trump trade agenda that they say would hurt American companies, hurt American factory workers and hurt the economy.

Here is what the "Wall Street Journal" editorial board said today in a remarkable editorial, "Most of what his campaign bills as his signature economic message was the most detailed assault on trade by a presidential candidate since, well, we can't remember. Mr. Trump wants to make Republicans into the tariff party."

And they say what Trump has proposed by saying he would walk away from NAFTA, renegotiate some trade agreements, not do TPP, the Trans- Pacific Partnership, would be bad to America's ability to navigate globalization. Globalization, they point out, is not something a switch you can turn on and off or reverse. Globalization is like time, it is moving forward. These trade deals, they say, are how you manage American prospects through that process. And it is technology more than free trade deals that are a problem for the number of American manufacturing jobs in this country and the kind of American factory jobs in this country -- Brianna?

KEILAR: You're seeing how contentious this has been, this issue on both sides of the primary battle. We are now into the general election. This has been going on for months. Why is it sparking so much anger? Is this a proxy for something else?

ROMANS: It's a proxy for a slice of the American electorate that feel they can't get ahead. Everyone knew that globalization was going to have rough edges that would hurt certain groups of workers, and that has happened. Now those workers are angry. They feel as though they can't find a place in the new economy where, for example, 73 percent of jobs, Brianna, created since the recession, have gone to people with a college degree. Think about that. There are people that just aren't finding a place in the economy. There are also people with a college degree, have debt to get that degree, and maybe feel they're not getting a raise, haven't had a raise in a generation. There's a real middle class anxiety that Donald Trump tapped into, and Bernie Sanders tapped into.

What's interesting about the TPP - and you'll hear a lot about that, and Hillary Clinton backed away from that as well, the TPP was designed to give the U.S. closer ties with other allies in Asia, not China, right --


ROMANS: -- as far as a blunt to China's ability to call the shots, as counterpoint to blunt. It's sort of interesting that Donald Trump talked about being able to blunt China's rise and influence and negotiating ability, but you'll hear from people that support free trade, think the whole conversation is completely a fantasy, they'll say that's what smart free trade is supposed to do. They also point out we have more than 300 different legal complaints and actions now against people that are cheating, countries cheating against the United States in free trade deals and that there is enforcement of some deals. Trade is always boring and arcane. Now it suddenly has become over simplified and really central to this debate.

[13:40:46] KEILAR: And stay with me, Christine.

I want to tell viewers this is expected to start at the Pentagon any moment. We are watching that. We will jump to there when Defense Secretary Ash Carter begins speaking.

But it strikes me, Christine, some of this is visceral, what you are feeling from people, is people that see their parents did better than their grandparents. That's the expectation. Now they're feeling like they're not even able to kind of perform economically or have the opportunities their parents did. They feel like they're taking a step back.

ROMANS: I call it low economic self esteem that seems to be pervasive in some of these sectors of the economy, and not everywhere. If you have a college degree, the unemployment rate for people with a college degree is something like 3 percent. There are parts of the economy that are moving quickly. They're hiring for talent.

And there's this other side of the equation, it is hard to measure how much the middle class has benefitted from globalization. A lot of people that crunch numbers say an iPhone costs, for example, at least twice as much as now, maybe three times, if not for the fact it is made someplace else, designed here and sold here in the United States. A sweatshirt would be $75. I'll show you, for example, a Suffolk University --


KEILAR: Christine, I am going to cut you off. We're going to the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Ash Carter. [13:42:18]

ASH CARTER, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I am here today to announce some changes in the Defense Department's policies regarding transgender servicemembers. And before I announce what changes we're making, I want to explain why.

There are three main reasons, having to do with their future force, our current force and matters of principle. The first and fundamental reason is that the Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now the finest fighting force the world has ever known.

Our mission is to defend this country and we don't want barriers unrelated to a person's qualification to serve 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 percent 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 servicemembers, 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 servicemembers, and about 1,500 out of 825,000 reserve service numbers 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 who are serving their country with honor and distinction. We invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to train and develop each individual, and we want to take the opportunity to retain people whose talent we've invested in and who have proven themselves.

And this brings me to the second reason, which is that the reality is that we have transgender servicemembers serving in uniform today. And I have a responsibility to them and to their commanders to provide them both with clearer and more consistent guidance than is provided by current policies.

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 servicemembers must go outside the military medical system in order to obtain medical care 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 of our troops that we will take care of them and pay for necessary medical treat.

I, and the defense department's other senior leaders who have been setting this issue the past year, have met with some of these transgender servicemembers. 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 the lack of clear guidelines for how to handle this issue puts the commanders and the servicemembers in a difficult and unfair position.

One servicemember I had met with described how some people had urged him to leave the military, because of 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, as a matter visible. 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 Milley 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. Embedded 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 principle. 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 Milley.

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 effect -- impact, excuse me, 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 in which the department's leadership has pursued this review. I've been guided throughout by one central question. Is someone the best-qualified servicemember 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 service secretaries, myself, together with personnel, training, readiness and medical specialists from across 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 servicemembers, from outside expert groups, and from 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 servicemembers to serve openly. And from the private sector also, because even though we're not a business and are different than a company in important ways, their experience and their practices are still relevant.

It's worth noting, for example, that at least 18 countries already allow transgender personnel to serve openly in their militaries. 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 and insurance companies today, providing medical care for transgender individuals is becoming common and normalized in both public and private sectors alike. Today, over one-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 three percent in 2002.

And for the public sector, all civilian federal employees have access today to a health insurance plan that provides 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 allied militaries and the expected rate at which American transgender servicemembers would require medical treatment that would impact their fitness for duty or deployability, RAND's analysis concluded that there would be, quote, "minimal readiness impacts from allowing transgender servicemembers to serve openly," end quote.

And in terms of cost, RAND concluded that health care costs would represent, again in their words, "an exceedingly small proportion of DOD's overall health care expenditures."

Now, as a result of this year-long study, I'm announcing today that 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 for many accession program. In taking the steps, we are eliminating policies that can 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 are confirming that going forward we will apply the same general principles, standards and procedures to transgender servicemembers as we do to all servicemembers.

When I heard from the transgender servicemembers I met with overwhelmingly was that 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 a steady 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 is 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 servicemembers and their commanders, followed by training for the entire forest and then beginning to access new military servicemembers who are transgender.

Implementation will begin today. Starting today, otherwise qualified servicemembers can no longer be involuntarily 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 an 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 servicemembers.

Our military treatment facilities will begin providing transgender servicemembers with all medically necessary care based on that medical guidance. Also starting on that date, servicemembers 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 and 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 accessing transgender individuals who meet all standards, holding them to the same physical and mental fitness standards as everyone else who wants to join the military.

Our initial accession policy will require an individual to have completed any medical treatment that their doctor has determined as necessary in connection with their gender transition and to have been stable in their identified gender for 18 months, as certified by their doctor before they can enter the military.

I have directed that this succession standard be reviewed no later than 25 four (ph) months from today to ensure 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 leaders, including Chairman Dunford. The chief sent specific recommendations about the timeline, and I made adjustments to the implementation plan timeline to incorporate those recommendations. The chairman has indicated the services support the final implementation timeline that I've laid out today.

Overall, the policies we are issuing today will allow us to assess -- excuse me, access talent of transgender servicemembers to strengthen accomplishment of our mission, clarify guidance for commanders and military medical providers, and reflect better the department's and our nation's principles.

I want to close by emphasizing the deliberate and thoughtful implementation will be key. I, and the senior leaders of the department will therefore be ensuring all issues identified in this study are addressed in implementation.

I'm confident they can and will be addressed in implementation. That's why we are taking step-by-step approach I've described. And I'm 100 percent confident in the ability of our military leaders and all men and women in uniform to implement 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 is 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. And -- Phil, you want to start?

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, could you talk a bit about -- I know you spoke about the costs for 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?

CARTER: Sure. With respect to cost -- by the way, I will mention that Peter Levine will be here later and will be prepared to answer questions in detail.

But the reason that RAND concluded the costs would be minimal is that the medical treatment that servicemembers who are currently transgender requires fairly straightforward, 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 then 18 months before they can access service, so there will be no medical costs associated with that.

And with respect to the timetable for implementation, the -- there's -- as I indicated in stages, there's the -- the preparation of the medical guidance, that is up to the doctors who need to do that, so that doctors at military treatment facilities all have a standard protocol.

I'm giving them 90 days to that. That is what they asked for. The commanders' guidance, the -- as I indicated, the chairman and the chiefs asked for 90 days in that regard -- to prepare that commanders 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 say, 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 -- change of this kind.

QUESTION: (inaudible) on Russia?


QUESTION: (inaudible) separate subject (inaudible).

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 a skeptic in the past about cooperating with Russia militarily in Syria, given that their motives are different than those of the United States.


(Byline: Brianna Keilar, Rene Marsh, Christine Romans)

(High: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is saying, expect to see an enhanced security presence during the coming holiday, saying, quote, "Since Brussels, we have enhanced security at airports around the nation. Since the Brussels attack in March, our TSA VIPR teams have been more visible at airports generally. The American public should expect to see this July 4th, enhanced security presence at airports, train stations, other transit centers across the country." Donald Trump is expected to make his case against free trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA shortly, and the presumptive Republican nominee is on the attack, calling out the Chamber of Commerce, the president, and his own party over what he sees as poorly negotiated deals. Defense Secretary Ash Carter gives Pentagon briefing, announcing changes to the military transgender policy.)

(Spec: U.S. Department of Homeland Security; VIPR Teams; TSA; DHS; Jeh Johnson; Terrorism; Transportation; Aviation; Holiday; Fourth of July; Donald Trump; Trade; NAFTA; Trans-Pacific Partnership; Economy; Barack Obama; Hillary Clinton; Republicans; Ash Carter; U.S. Defense Department; U.S. Pentagon; Transgenders; Politics; Government)