President Trump said Friday that he won't allow the Pentagon to cut funding for Stars and Stripes, effectively halting the plan to shut the military paper down this month. "The United States of America will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch," Trump tweeted. "It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!" Trump's tweet came as he fought off new accusations that he called service members killed in World War I "losers" and "suckers" in 2018. The Trump White House hadn't said anything about the plan to close the paper before Friday, the AP reports, even though it's been in the works and publicly written about for months and was in the president's budget request. On Friday afternoon, however, Trump worked to shore up his claim of being a staunch supporter of the armed services. "I've done more for the military than almost anyone else," he said in the Oval Office.
The Pentagon had no immediate comment on Trump's tweet or how it may affect the plan to ultimately fold the paper. Stars and Stripes says digital subscribers are up 432% over the past year and email newsletter subscribers 320%, per NBC. Recent coverage has included the Pentagon's decision to keep schools open on US bases in Japan, per the Washington Post, even as the nation's own schools were being shut because of the pandemic. "No other organization was covering the effect of COVID on the military to the extent Stars and Stripes was," the paper said. Some observers consider the planned shutdown part of the Trump administration's war against the news media, per the New York Times. Stars and Stripes is editorially independent and often demonstrates that. The paper's website on Friday, for example, included a report on the "losers" and "suckers" allegations against the commander in chief.
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