At today’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had strong words for Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick over his earlier opposition to President Obama’s decree that public schools allow transgender students to use the bathroom and locker room facilities of their chosen, not biological, gender:

Earnest went on to claim that the decree was merely “guidance” and not a threat of whitholding funding as Lt. Gov. Patrick had suggested earlier in the day:

Video here (the question and response on Lt. Gov. Patrick is right at the beginning):

Here’s Lt. Gov. Patrick making his case:

Meanwhile, National Review’s David French called out Earnest for his “half-truth”:

At first I was going to call his statement a lie, but then I realized it was more like a half-truth. No, the letter is not a threat. That much is true. Instead, it’s a promise. As it clearly states, it represents the the administration’s existing interpretation of controlling law. This is how the administration will enforce Title IX. This is how the administration has enforced Title IX. In the event of complaints against a school district, the administration is declaring how it will respond.

And Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement telling President Obama “to prepare for yet another legal fight”:

“Once again, the Obama Administration has overstepped its constitutional bounds to meddle in the affairs of state and local government. Today’s announcement seeking to unilaterally redefine and expand federal law must be challenged. If President Obama thinks he can bully Texas schools into allowing men to have open access to girls in bathrooms, he better prepare for yet another legal fight.”


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Administration issues decree on transgender access in public schools; Texas Gov. defies His Majesty