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Trump says he won't cut funding for Stars and Stripes

President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE said Friday that his administration would not cut funding to the U.S. military’s independent newspaper, Stars and Stripes, after the Pentagon moved to shut down the publication.

“The United States of America will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch. It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!” Trump tweeted Friday afternoon.

Trump’s tweet appears to reverse plans of his own administration. The Pentagon had ordered the newspaper to stop publishing on Sept. 30 and dissolve by the end of January. Earlier this year, the Pentagon moved to cut $15.5 million in funding for the publication from the Defense Department’s budget.

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The decision to shut down Stars and Stripes prompted backlash from bipartisan members of Congress. In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperCutting defense spending by 10 percent would debilitate America's military Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings Trump campaign event use of Marine Corps helicopter raises ethics questions MORE sent earlier this week, a group of senators requested that the Pentagon reinstate necessary funding for the newspaper to continues operating.

“We urge you to take steps to preserve the funding prerogatives of Congress before allowing any such disruption to take place,” the senators wrote. “Stars and Stripes is an essential part of our nation’s freedom of the press that serves the very population charged with defending that freedom.”

Trump’s decision to reverse course comes as he endures scrutiny following a report in The Atlantic that said he disparaged fallen U.S. service members as “losers” and “suckers.” The White House has vehemently denied the allegations as reported by the magazine. Military members and veterans represent a key supporter group of Trump as he faces reelection in two months.