WASHINGTON – Actress Caitlyn Jenner told PJM that she is satisfied with President Trump’s job performance in “certain areas” but transgender rights issues are not among them.
Jenner also said many of the DREAMers are “great Americans” and she hopes Congress makes “the right decision” on fixing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Jenner joined actor Richard Gere at the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute’s annual gala Wednesday, where Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) was honored for her years of “public service and international leadership” as the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress.
Jenner was asked if she thinks Congress should provide legal status to the DREAMers, immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
“Well, I think it’s a tough decision for Congress and what they’re doing right now. They need to support the people that have been here and we’ll see what happens, but supporting – a lot of them are, you know, great Americans, right now. They came here at a very young age so yeah, I hope they make the right decision,” Jenner said during an interview at the CHLI gala.
When asked if she is satisfied with President Trump’s job performance in office, Jenner replied, “Certain areas, yes, certain areas I am. Trans issues – it’s been horrible.”
Jenner has expressed opposition to Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. Trump reversed the policy set by the Obama administration that allowed transgender individuals to serve openly in the military and permitted the Pentagon to pay for medical gender reassignment.
Last year, Jenner said she disagreed with the Trump administration’s decision to end protections that the Obama administration put in place for transgender students, which allowed them to use bathrooms in public schools that match their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
Event organizers interrupted the interview before Jenner could identify the areas where she approves of Trump.
Ros-Lehtinen applauded Jenner for her LGBT rights advocacy at the event.
“Thank you, because fighting for gay rights and transgender rights is such an important part of my DNA and what I do, and you’re a great spokeswoman for this cause,” the GOP congresswoman, who has a transgender son, told Jenner.
Ros-Lehtinen told PJM that Trump has been “right on the money” when it comes to human rights issues in Latin America.
“Although I have been very critical of the Trump administration on many aspects of his policies, when it comes to advancing human rights in Cuba, in Venezuela, in Nicaragua, he has been right on the money and I have no complaints. He has understood the difference between right and wrong,” she said during an interview at the event.
“He said I’m standing with the people and not with the regimes, and he has sanctioned more Venezuelan thugs of [President Nicolas] Maduro than the previous administration,” she added. “So, in the short time Trump has been there, more than the eight years of Obama, and Maduro has been bad for an awfully long time and [Hugo] Chavez before him, so it’s not like he just turned bad.”
Ros-Lehtinen, whose family moved to the U.S. from Cuba when she was a child, applauded Trump for rolling back the “regulations that were one-sided concessions.”
“So I thank him for everything he has done in my native homeland and in Venezuela, which is like my adopted land, so I am very happy with that,” she said.
Ros-Lehtinen continued, “The greatest challenge we have is to continue explaining why human rights matters to the American public – that, yes, it’s great to have cheap products from this country and that country, but it’s human rights. It’s democracy. It’s the advancement of American values and that’s what CHLI wants to do – free market, free trade, fair trade.”
Actor and human rights activist Gere delivered a speech at the ceremony but declined interviews.