President Donald Trump pledged on Friday not to allow the Pentagon to shut down the Stars and Stripes program, as senators this week appealed to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to continue funding the editorially independent news organization.
“The United States will not cut funding for stars and stripes under my supervision,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday. “It would still be a great source of information for our large army!”
The United States of America will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch. It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020
In a memo sent last month to the leaders of the Stars and Stripes, Pentagon officials ordered the organization to come up with a plan by September 15 to close the news organization in January and called on it to stop publishing “all its. Models” before September 30. End of the fiscal year 2020. This has angered some senators, who in recent weeks have pleaded with Esper not to close Stars and Stripes until Congress, which is finally setting the government budget, has finished examining the issue.
Esper proposed in his February budget file for the fiscal year 2021 to end Defense Department funding of approximately $ 15.5 million for Stars and Stripes. He told reporters at the time that the savings would finance “higher priority issues” such as buying modern weapons. This funding represents nearly half of the budget for stars and tapes and is used primarily to print and distribute the newspaper to forces around the world, including in war zones such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
Trump’s statement on Friday came as major news organizations, including USA Today, The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, published stories about the impending shutdown of the Stars and Stripes.
It also came as he defended himself against the accusations reported by the Atlantic newspaper for the first time on Thursday that he described American service personnel who were killed in World War I as “losers” and “fools” during a trip to France in 2018, during which a trip to France was canceled. There is a cemetery for the Marines.
Trump categorically denied the charge of insulting the military, telling reporters Thursday evening that “no one respects them more than him.” The Associated Press and Fox News were among the news organizations that reported confirming some of the allegations raised in The Atlantic story.