Navy secretary says 'any patriot' should be able to serve

The nation's new Navy secretary says he'll take direction from the Pentagon regarding President Donald Trump's call for a ban on transgender service members, but he adds that "any patriot that wants to serve and meets all the requirements should be able to serve in our military."

Richard V. Spencer made the comments Thursday in response to reporters' questions as he visited a naval base in Norfolk, Virginia.

The former businessman was sworn in Aug. 3, a little more than a week after Trump declared the ban via Twitter.

Transgender people have been allowed to serve openly since June 2016. The White House and the Pentagon are working out the details of a new transgender policy under President Trump.

Two lawsuits filed Wednesday claim such a ban would be unconstitutional.