Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's daughter is a veteran
She's speaking out against the administration's transgender military policy
The daughter of a key Trump administration Cabinet member is speaking out against the President’s policy banning transgender people from serving in any capacity in the military.
President Donald Trump abruptly announced the new policy in July in a series of tweets, saying the US military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Jennifer Detlefsen, the daughter of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, slammed the policy and the President in an expletive-laden Instagram post.
“This man is a disgrace. I’ve tried to keep politics out of my social media feed as much as possible, but this is inexcusable,” said Detlefsen in a caption of a photo quoting the President’s tweets on the subject in late July.
Detlefsen, a Navy veteran like her father, had strong words for the President.
“This veteran says sit down and shut the f*** up, you know-nothing, never-served piece of s***. #itmfa #wtf,” she added.
ITMFA stands for “Impeach the mother f***** already.”
The post was first reported by the Billings Gazette.
On Friday, the White House issued a presidential memorandum with specific directives following through on Trump’s tweets, instructing the military to not move forward with an Obama-era plan that would have allowed transgender individuals to be recruited into the armed forces. The memorandum also bans the Defense Department from using its resources to provide medical treatment regimens for transgender individuals currently serving in the military.
The Interior Department did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Detlefsen declined to be interviewed, however, she did place some distance between her comments and her father.
“My views are my own and not at all related to my father’s position; millions of other people have said the same as I did, and more eloquently,” she said in an email to CNN. “The thousands of transgender military service members who are under attack by this administration are the ones who should be given a chance to have their voices heard.”
Detlefsen is now a Virginia-based glass artist working primarily in the color pink.
“I make art about the double standards, taboos and cultural expectations that govern the lives and bodies of women,” she wrote in a biography on her website.
She hasn’t been quiet about her political views in the past, posting a photo from her polling place on election day that included the hashtags “#dumptrump,” “#imwithher” and "#vetsagainsttrump.”
She participated in the women’s march after Trump’s inauguration in January.
Detlefsen has received mostly supportive comments on the July post, including many from her fellow service members.
But she also responded to those who commented with criticism.
“I could have, perhaps should have, used more elegant language. I didn’t because I was – and am – angry. But the President himself is lowering the level of discourse in our political climate, so please point that finger elsewhere,” she responded to one user.
“I am most certainly not misinformed – and in fact spent a good deal of time in the service reviewing the medical records of people applying for special forces programs,” she said to another.
Reversal of the Obama-era decision to allow transgender troops to serve, she said Monday, was on the “wrong side of history.”
“The military been a giant social engineering experiment since near its inception. From racial integration to opening up career paths to women, decade by decade the military has, by necessity of wanting to recruit and retain the best possible fighting force, been at the vanguard of progressive progress. At each step there have been those who decried the changes- and you know what? They’ve been shown to be on the wrong side of history. Every. Time,” she wrote.
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.
This story has been updated.