Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday defended the Pentagon’s effort to strip Stars and Stripes of all of its federal funding as part of its fiscal year 2021 budget request, telling reporters in Brussels that the independent news organization is not a priority.

“So, we trimmed the support for Stars and Stripes because we need to invest that money, as we did with many, many other programs, into higher-priority issues,” Esper said during a news conference at NATO headquarters. He listed space, nuclear programs, hypersonic missiles and “a variety of systems” as places the money — slightly more than $15.5 million — could be reinvested in the $705.4 billion Defense Department spending proposal.

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Author: Dian Welle