Former President Donald Trump on Thursday blasted Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson for vetoing a bill that bans gender reassignment treatments or surgery for minors.
The former commander-in-chief called Hutchinson a “lightweight” and a “RINO,” or “Republican in name only,” for rejecting legislation that Trump said “banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN.”
“Bye-bye Asa, that’s the end of him!,” Trump said.
The Arkansas House and Senate on Tuesday voted to override Hutchinson’s veto, making the Natural State the first in the nation to prevent doctors from providing certain types of care to minors who identify as transgender.
Trump’s statement came after the governor, who is term-limited, defended his decision in a fiery exchange with Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday.
“If this had been a bill that simply prohibited chemical castration, I would have signed the bill,” he told Carlson.
The measure — which prohibits doctors from giving hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old — was “overbroad, it was extreme,” Hutchinson argued.
“This is the first law in the nation that invokes the state between medical decisions, parents who consent to that and the decision of the patient,” he said.
Carlson countered that “there’s not a lot of research” on the subject and raised fears that suicidal thoughts or the urge to self-harm could be side effects of hormone treatments.
“Why is that responsible medicine, to do that to children? Why would you support something like that?” he asked.
Carlson charged that Hutchinson wasn’t familiar with studies on the topic, saying, “You were told by doctors that it’s a good idea and you went with it.”
In his statement, Trump predicted that Hutchinson would be replaced by his former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is running for the seat.
“Fortunately for the Great State of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will do a fantastic job as your next Governor!,” he said.
With Post wires