Trump intervenes to block Pentagon plan to defund Stars and Stripes military newspaper

President Donald Trump has announced that, contrary to reports, the government will not be cutting funding to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. 

First founded back in 1861 at the time of the Civil War, Stars and Stripes has been continuously delivering news to military personnel since World War II. Recently, however, there was talk that the news outlet was going to be cut from the budget.

The rumor

It all stems from an article that USA Today published on Friday. “Even for those of us who are all too wearily familiar with President Donald Trump’s disdain for journalists, his administration’s latest attack on the free press is a bit of a jaw-dropper,” it claimed.

The article goes on to discuss a memo in which the Pentagon ordered the publisher of Stars and Stripes to come up with a plan to dissolve the news outlet by September 15. It stated that the newspaper’s final publication will be on September 30, 2020.

It wasn’t the first time that defunding this newspaper had been brought up. In fact, the Pentagon had previously proposed cutting the $15 million in funding given to the outlet by the government from the 2021 fiscal budget.

“We trimmed the support for Stars and Stripes because we need to invest that money, as we did with many, many other programs, into higher-priority issues,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Reversal made

Following the USA Today report, however, President Trump issued a tweet stating that his administration will not defund Stars and Stripes.

“The United States of America will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch,” Trump wrote. “It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!”

Prior to Trump’s tweet, a number of lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, had already been working to make sure that the Pentagon’s decision to cut funding to Stars and Stripes did not go through.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) even sent a letter to Esper asking that he and the Pentagon take back their decision and “reinstate the funding necessary for it to continue operations.”

Following Trump’s tweet, USA Today added an “update” to its article, which reads, “Hours after this column was published, the president announced via Twitter that he’s reversing the decision to defund the Stars and Stripes.”

It’s good that this situation has been fixed.

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