Trump did not appear to donate his salary from his last months in office as promised, says report
- Donald Trump promised to give away his presidential salary while in office.
- The Washington Post was unable to account for his salary for his final 6 months.
- Trump had become increasingly bitter about not receiving praise for donating his earnings.
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It is unclear what Donald Trump did with his salary from his last 6 months in office, which he promised to donate, according to The Washington Post.
While in office Donald Trump pledged to give away all of his $400,000 (R5.8 million) annual presidential salary. For the first three and a half of his presidency, he donated the money to federal agencies.
The Washington Post said it surveyed all major federal agencies and none reported receiving anything from Trump after a gift in July 2020.
The paper said it could not account for the the last $220,000 (R3.2 million) of his salary. During the campaign trail in 2015 Donald Trump said that he would not accept a presidential salary if elected. The Constitution does not allow a president to forgo a salary, so Trump chose to donate his earnings to federal agencies instead.
While in office he donated $100,000 (R1.4 million) quarterly payments to federal departments such as the Department of Veterans and the Department of Health and Human Services.
His last known gift was to the National Park Service on 23 July, 2020, according to government documents.
Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold said that Trump had become increasingly bitter about not getting praise for donating his salary.
At a campaign rally in Arizona in October 2020 Trump said, "I'm the only president that did not accept a salary, which surprised me. It's $450,000 (R6.6 million). The only reason I mention it is they never talk about it."
Trump frequently claimed that no other president had ever refused their salary, which is untrue. Both Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy did the same.
Trump also got his salary amount wrong. The president receives $400,000 annually. Despite donating his salary, Trump still continued to make money from his various businesses while in office. According to one review, Trump made $1.6 billion (R23.4 billion) while he was president, meaning his donated salary accounted for 0.1% of his earnings.
The Washington Post clarified that their inability to account for his final 6 months of salary did not mean he definitely did not donate it. However, the lack of confirmation is unusual, and a marked difference from his first 3 and a half years in office.
The paper said it also asked Trump's business, and the former lawyer who helped arrange the donations, about the money, and neither responded.
Trump continues to receive a presidential pension of more than $220,000 a year.