Trump: 'The Special Olympics will be funded'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection 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 DeVosStudents at school system Pence called 'forefront' of reopening now in quarantine The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Democrats look to go on offense in debate over reopening schools 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 DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Negotiators signal relief bill stuck, not dead White House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Sunday shows - Trump coronavirus executive orders reverberate MORE (Ill.), the Senate Democratic whip, told DeVos at Thursday's hearing.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthySunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief A trillion stimulus, but Kevin McCarthy for renewable energy — leading businesses want to change that When will telling the truth in politics matter again? 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.