“Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction. In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place,” Mr. Mattis said in a statement.
The defense secretary did say he intends to follow through with President Trump’s order, but needs more time to determine how best to implement the new policy.
The ban, announced by Mr. Trump in a tweet in July, came as a surprise to the military community. The president did not issue an official order until Friday evening, in which Mr. Trump directed Mr. Mattis to study the issue and determine the best way to go ahead with the policy.