Trump Eliminates Funding For Program Honoring US Ambassador Killed In Benghazi
The Trump administration rejected a budget request to honor J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador killed in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 terrorist attacks, The Washington Post reported.
The State Department’s fiscal 2021 budget proposal eliminated $420 million from its educational and cultural programs, including $5 million set aside for the Stevens Initiative, an organization created to memorialize the late ambassador’s passion for cultivating international exchanges.
An anonymous State Department official argued that the suggested cut means that the Stevens Initiative may not be included in the final budget, but it won’t necessarily lose funding.
“The flexibility of the ECE [Educational and Cultural Exchange] budget allows for programs to continue under other line items, such as ‘Professional and Cultural Exchanges,’ even when they do not have a separate budget line item,” the official explained.
The attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission and another facility in Benghazi became the center of a Republican-led effort to slander then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, describing her actions as inadequate in protecting Stevens and the three other Americans who were killed.
In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump used the Benghazi attacks to slam Clinton, saying, “By the way, with Benghazi and with our ambassador -- remember? That’s all Hillary Clinton, folks.”