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Trump: 'The Special Olympics will be funded'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE said Thursday that he's overruled his administration officials who sought to zero out funding for the Special Olympics in their budget proposal.

"The Special Olympics will be funded. I just told my people, ‘I want to fund the special Olympics,' " Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for a campaign rally in Michigan.

"I heard about it this morning,” he added. “I have overridden my people. We’re funding the Special Olympics."

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Trump added that he's been to the sporting event personally, calling it "incredible."

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration America has a civic education problem — here's how to fix it Biden's Education secretary must expel the harmful policies of the last four years MORE has faced mounting scrutiny from lawmakers in both major parties after the department's budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 did not include funding for the program.

The Education Department's proposal was unlikely to go forward in Congress given the widespread opposition to the $17.6 million in cuts to the program.

Trump reversed his administration's position nevertheless, undermining DeVos hours after she had defended the decision to Senate appropriators.

"I love Special Olympics," Devos said. "I have given a portion of my salary to Special Olympics. I hope all of this debate inspires private contributions to Special Olympics."

A day earlier, DeVos issued a statement that said she supported the program but that "the federal government cannot fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations.”

She has chastised the media and lawmakers, suggesting they were twisting the funding debate for political purposes.

But members of Congress were largely united in their opposition to the move.

“Whoever came up with that idea at [the Office of Management and Budget] gets a Special Olympic Gold Medal for insensitivity,” Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Ending Trump's transactional arrogance on our public lands President is wild card as shutdown fears grow MORE (Ill.), the Senate Democratic whip, told DeVos at Thursday's hearing.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRichmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight Drastic cuts proposed to Medicare would hurt health care quality MORE (R-Calif.) told reporters that he disagreed with the funding request and that he "fully" supports the program.

After Trump announced the reversal, DeVos reportedly applauded his decision in a statement, saying she and the president "see eye-to-eye on this issue."

Updated at 5:03 p.m.