McCain backs bill to protect transgender troops

Sen. John McCain

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. John McCain says he's backing a bill that would bar the Trump administration from forcing transgender troops out of the armed forces.

In a statement Friday, the Arizona Republican says any service member, including those who are transgender, who meets the military's standards should be permitted to serve.

President Donald Trump in August ordered the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military. He also gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis six months to come up with a policy on "how to address" those currently serving, leaving the door open to permitting their continued service.

The legislation McCain supports would ensure they're not kicked out.

The bill's other sponsors are Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Susan Collins of Maine and Jack Reed of Rhode Island.