During an appearance on Good Morning Britain, President Donald Trump defended his administration's ban on transgender troops serving in the military.

“They take massive amounts of drugs, they have to – and, also you're not allowed to take drugs in the military, and they have to after the operation,” Trump told co-host Piers Morgan.

When Morgan pointed out that the military spends more money on Viagra for service members than it does on transgender health care, Trump reiterated that transgender troops cost too much.

“And also, people were going in and asking for the operation,” he said. “The operation is $200,000, $250,000. And getting the operation, the recovery period is long, and they have to take large amounts of drugs after that.”

Morgan noted that transgender troops are serving with distinction.

“Well, I'm proud of them. I’m proud of them. I think it’s great, but you have to have a standard, and you have to stick by that standard. We have a great military, and I want to keep it that way. Maybe they’d be phenomenal. I think they probably would be, but you have very strict rules and regulations on drugs and prescription drugs and all of these different things. They blow it all out of the water,” Trump responded.

In a statement, Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, said that Trump had “repeated the debunked canards that medical care for transgender service members is unmanageably expensive” and called the military ban “prejudice masked as policy.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, also disputed Trump's assertions.

“The total cost of extending medical care to trans service members would make up a fraction of 1% of the total health care budget of the military,” HRC said in a tweet. “It's deeply disturbing @realDonaldTrump used his time on foreign soil to peddle lies about the brave trans people serving in uniform.”

Representative Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington and chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said that Trump “should stick to the facts” when discussing transgender service.

“Transgender service members meet the same physical and medical standards as their cisgender counterparts,” Smith said in a statement. “As members of the one percent of the population willing to serve our nation, they deserve praise for their sacrifice, not judgment and discrimination.”