After Trump Tweet, Pentagon Will Not Shut Down Stars And Stripes

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Adam Barnes General Assignment Reporter
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The Pentagon told military newspaper Stars and Stripes in an email on Thursday that it was no longer planning to shut down the outlet.

The email, sent to the outlet’s publisher, came a week after President Donald Trump tweeted that funding for the independent paper would continue, despite a Department of Defense memo requiring the paper to stop publication by Sept. 30, according to the Associated Press.

“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!” (Related: In Reversal, Trump Says Funding For Stars And Stripes Newspaper Will Continue)

Before the tweet, the White House had not commented on Stars and Stripes closing even though it was in the president’s budget, per the AP. But a bipartisan group of senators spoke out against the move in a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper last week calling the newspaper “an essential part of our nation’s freedom of the press that serves the very population charged with defending that freedom.”

Army Col. Paul Haverstick, acting director of the Pentagon’s Defense Media Activity, told Stars and Stripes publisher Max Lederer, however, that the paper will need to submit a budget plan for next year. The House passed a budget which contains funding for the newspaper, but the Senate has yet to finalize its version, according to the AP.