Donald Trump Defends Relief Bill’s $25 Million Outlay For Kennedy Center

Some Fox News hosts have criticized one line item in the massive $2 trillion coronavirus relief package: $25 million for the Kennedy Center.

But President Donald Trump, at his daily press briefing, defended the outlay, saying that the arts organization has “suffered greatly” because it has been forced to cancel performances and close during the crisis.

“It was $35 million but we took off 10, but I am a fan of that,” he said. “The Kennedy Center has suffered greatly because no one can go there. It is essentially closed. And they do need some funding. I said, ‘Look, that was a Democrat request. That was not my request. And I said, you have got to give them something. It is something that they wanted. The Democrats have treated us fairly.”

The Kennedy Center canceled all performances through May 10, including Once On This Island and Soundtrack ’63. Washington National Opera’s Porgy and Bess will be rescheduled.

Trump said that the outlay to the Kennedy Center was a “lousy soundbite,” but “that’s the way life works.”

“With that being said, the Kennedy Center, they do a beautiful job, a wonderful job,” he said.

The bill reportedly also includes $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The final text has not yet been released.

On Tuesday, Fox News’ Dana Perino criticized the funding as the “new bridge to nowhere.”

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