President Donald Trump said Thursday he would fund the Special Olympics after an outcry over a budget proposal.
“The Special Olympics will be funded. I just told my people, I want to fund the Special Olympics, and I just authorized funding of the Special Olympics,” Trump said. “I’ve been to the Special Olympics, I think it’s incredible, and I just authorized funding. I heard about it this morning. I have overridden my people. We’re funding the Special Olympics.”
The president spoke about the issue to reporters at the White House on Thursday as he left for a campaign rally in Michigan.
The 2020 budget proposal from Department of Education Secretary Betsy Davos cut $17.6 million from the Special Olympics, citing a plethora of support for the organization from private philanthropy.
Democrats immediately weaponized the news, blasting the Trump administration for the proposal, although it was extremely unlikely that Congress would support the cuts.
Chairman of Special Olympics International Dr. Timothy P. Shriver tried to clarify in a statement that the government does not directly support the Special Olympics, but coordinates with the organization for special education services in school:
— Special Olympics (@SpecialOlympics) March 27, 2019
Even 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders appeared apoplectic about the proposal.
“Unbelievable,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “When we are in the White House we will get our national priorities straight.”
Trump and DeVos want to slash education spending and defund the Special Olympics after giving tax breaks to the top 1%. Unbelievable. When we are in the White House we will get our national priorities straight. https://t.co/b1qpE9SA2t
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 27, 2019