Stars and Stripes, the legendary newspaper that has kept our troops informed since the Civil War, is being shut down by Trump.
In a heretofore unpublicized recent memo, the Pentagon delivered an order to shutter Stars and Stripes, a newspaper that has been a lifeline and a voice for American troops since the Civil War. The memo orders the publisher of the news organization (which now publishes online as well as in print) to present a plan that “dissolves the Stars and Stripes” by Sept. 15 including “specific timeline for vacating government owned/leased space worldwide.”
The memo ordering the publication’s dissolution claims the administration has the authority to make this move under the president’s fiscal year 2021 defense department budget request. It zeroed out the $15.5 million annual subsidy for Stars and Stripes. But Congress, which under the Constitution has the power to make decisions about how the public’s money is spent, has not yet approved the president’s request.
In fact, the version the House approved earlier this summer explicitly overruled the decision to pull the plug on Stars and Stripes, restoring funding for the paper.
Trump can’t legally shut down Stars and Stripes and defund the newspaper without congressional approval, and the House of Representatives has denied his request and reinstated the funding.
The Senate has done nothing because Majority Leader McConnell would like to turtle up and avoid any conflict with Trump before the election, but after Trump called dead American war heroes losers, he may not have a choice.
If Trump continues to sink, especially after his comments about the troops, saving Stars and Stripes would give Senate Republicans an issue to break with Trump on.
First, Trump insults dead American war heroes, and then he shuts down the only source of news some of our troops on the frontlines have.
Trump isn’t just disrespecting the military. He is also trying to keep them in the dark about his contempt for the troops.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association