WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump on Friday said he would not allow the Pentagon to cut funding for the military-independent newspaper Stars and Stripes, effectively shutting down defense leaders’ plan to close the paper this month.
Trump tweeted that “the United States of America will not cut funding for StarSandStrips magazine in my consideration”. “It continues to be an excellent source of information for our great military!”
Trump tweeted that service members killed in World War I were battling new charges called “losers” and “suckers” at an event in France in 2018. These comments were first reported by The Atlantic and confirmed by the Associated Press. Trump has previously shed new light on the public rejection of American troops and military families and they presented a new campaign issue to his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, less than two months after election day.
The Department of Defense has ordered that the publication be stopped by September 30 and that the company be dissolved by the end of January. The order, in a recent memo to the Strips, follows a move by the Pentagon earlier this year to cut $ 15.5 million in funding for the paper from the Department of Defense budget. And it reflects the wider hostility of the Trump administration to the media and members of the press.
Trump did not speak out against the Pentagon’s plan to close the paper earlier in the day, despite it being in the works and written publicly for months. On Friday, Howe, Trump worked to boost his reputation as a strong supporter of the nation’s armed services.
“I did more for the military than anyone else,” he told the Oval Office Friday.
Trump has been accused of making comments about war dead as he was scheduled to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery during a visit to France in November 2018.
Members of Congress have been objecting to the evasion for months. And the senators sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper this week. The letter, signed by 15 senators, including Republicans and Democrats, warned Esper that it was legally prohibited from canceling the budget program, but a provisional continuing resolution to fund the federal government was in effect.
“The Stars and Strips are an important part of our country’s freedom of the press, and it will serve the population charged with defending that freedom,” the senators said in the letter.
In a special letter to Esper in late August, Senator Lindsay Graham and the RSC also opposed the move, calling the strips “a valuable ‘home newspaper’ for members of the armed forces, their families and civilian employees.” Around the world. “” As a veteran who has served overseas, I know the value that Stars and Strips brings to its readers, “he said.
The department said in a memo that Esper made the decision as a result of a budget review across its department. The memo, signed by Army Colonel Paul Haveristic, acting director of the Pentagon’s Defense Media Activity, said plans to close the paper were on September 15 and the last newspaper would be published on September 30.
If the paper is funded by a persistent resolution “or other foresight,” the scratches must submit a plan by September 15 to close by the end of the next budget year, September 30, 2021. In that case, the Haveristic memo states that the last date for newspaper publication will be determined based on budget or other circumstances.
The Stripes ombudsman, Ernie Gates, told the Associated Press on Friday that the closure of the paper “would be the deadly intervention and permanent censorship of a unique First Amendment organization that has faithfully served U.S. forces for generations.”
The first newspaper, Stars and Strips, was produced very briefly during the Civil War in 1861, but the paper began regular publication during World War I. After the end of the war, the publication closed, only to relaunch art in 1942 during World War II, providing news written specifically for troops in war that provided time for war.
Although the paper is funded by the Department of Defense, it is editorially independent and distributed in print and digitally to forces around the world.
The Pentagon proposed cutting funding for the paper when it made the budget request earlier this year, prompting angry reactions from members of Congress.
The House-approved version of the Pentagon budget includes funding for paper publication, but the Senate has not yet finalized a defense funding bill.