US President Donald Trump has said his administration will not be shutting down a renowned military newspaper, following outcry from lawmakers.
Stars and Stripes, an independent military newspaper had been expected to end this month after the Pentagon decided in February to cut its funding.
The US government “will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch,” Mr Trump tweeted.
Mr Trump’s intervention comes as he denies reports he mocked US war dead.
According to a report in The Atlantic magazine, Mr Trump cancelled a visit to a US cemetery outside Paris in 2018 because it was “filled with losers”. The president has denied the report as “made up fake news”.
The Pentagon order obtained by US media on Friday called for Star and Stripes – which needs $15.5m (£11.7m) to continue operations – to be completely dissolved by the end of January 2021.
On Wednesday, a group of 15 Democratic and Republican senators wrote to Secretary of Defence Mark Esper to oppose the Pentagon’s plan to kill off the paper.
They argued the money allocated to Stars and Stripes would have a “negligible impact” on the Defence Department’s $700bn budget.
Mr Trump tweeted on Friday afternoon: “It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!”
What is Stars and Stripes?
Stars and Stripes was started during the US Civil War in 1861 by Union troops who had seized a printing press from a Confederate sympathiser in Missouri.
After publication lapsed, it restarted during World War One. It ceased printing after that war ended before beginning again in World War Two, and has continued ever since.
The editorially independent newspaper, which often contains criticism of top military leadership and US officials, is delivered daily to US outposts around the world, including in war zones.
What has the publication said?
In an email to the BBC, Stars and Stripes publisher Max Lederer said the newspaper – which is also available online – generates revenue from ad sales, subscriptions and printing, but that is not enough to cover the entire budget.
“Our mission is to provide First Amendment-based content to service members around the world including places such as Afghanistan and Iraq,” Mr Lederer said, referencing the constitutional law enshrining freedom of the press.
Without financing from the defence budget “it is not possible to perform the mission”, he said.
The House of Representatives has passed a budget that approves funds for Stars and Stripes, but it has yet to be approved by the Senate.