US President Donald Trump has said his administration will not shut down a prominent military newspaper, following outcry from lawmakers.
Stars and Stripes, an independent military newspaper, was due to end this month after the Pentagon decided in February to cut funding.
The US government “will NOT cut funding for @starsandstripes magazine under my watch,” Mr. Trump tweeted.
Mr Trump’s intervention comes as he denies reports that he made fun of the war dead in the United States.
According to an article in The Atlantic magazine, Mr. Trump canceled a visit to an American cemetery outside Paris in 2018 because it was “filled with losers.” The president denied the report as “fabricating fake news”.
- Trump denies claims he made fun of American war dead
The Pentagon order obtained by US media on Friday called for the complete disbandment of Star and Stripes – which needs $ 15.5million (£ 11.7million) to continue operations by the end of January 2021.
On Wednesday, a group of 15 Democratic and Republican senators wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper opposing the Pentagon’s plan to kill the newspaper.
They argued that the money allocated to Stars and Stripes would have a “negligible impact” on the Defense Department’s $ 700 billion budget.
Mr. Trump tweeted on Friday afternoon: “This will continue to be a wonderful source of information for our great army! “
What is Stars and Stripes?
Stars and Stripes was started during the American Civil War in 1861 by Union troops who seized a printing press from a Confederate sympathizer in Missouri.
After publication ended, it restarted during WWI. It stopped printing after that war ended before starting again during World War II, and has continued ever since.
The Independent Editorial Journal, which often contains reviews of senior military leaders and U.S. officials, delivers daily to U.S. outposts around the world, including in war zones.
What did the post say?
In an email to the BBC, Stars and Stripes editor Max Lederer said the newspaper – which is also available online – generates revenue from the sale of ads, subscriptions and marketing. printing, but this is not enough to cover the entire budget.
“Our mission is to provide First Amendment-based content to service members all over the world, including places like Afghanistan and Iraq,” Lederer said, referring to the constitutional law enshrining the freedom of press.
Without funding from the defense budget “it is not possible to accomplish the mission,” he said.
The House of Representatives has passed a budget that approves funds for Stars and Stripes, but it has yet to be approved by the Senate.