Trump: 'The Special Olympics will be funded'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record 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 DeVosFree college won't revive the liberal arts Klobuchar rolls out seven-figure ad buy in Nevada Five things to watch in Trump's budget proposal 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 — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders surge triggers Dem angst As many as eight GOP senators expected to vote to curb Trump's power to attack Iran MORE (Ill.), the Senate Democratic whip, told DeVos at Thursday's hearing.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthySunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses GOP climate plan faces pushback — from Republicans House GOP campaign arm mocks Democrats after stumbling upon internal info on races 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.