President Trump donated his presidential salary for the first financial quarter to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The donation totals $100,000, and it is the fifth such donation he has made. The real estate mogul turned president pledged to donate his entire presidential salary while in the White House instead of taking the income himself.
The $100,000 donation to the Department of Veterans Affairs has already been earmarked for particular use as well.
Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has said the money will be used to fund caregiver programs, including “mental health, peer support, financial aid, education and research.”
Previous efforts to help reform the Department of Veterans Affairs and improve the lives of veterans and military personnel by President Trump have included signing the VA Accountability Act, the Forever GI Bill and the RAISE Family Caregivers Act.
Two former U.S. presidents also donated their presidential salaries. Those were Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy, both of whom were also independently wealthy. While Donald Trump was a candidate for the presidency, he said he would not take any salary at all. However, the Constitution dictates that the President must take a salary. George Washington tried to avoid taking a salary as well, but his objections were overruled by the country’s new Constitution.
When George Washington was first elected to lead the nation, the presidential salary was $25,000. Since then that salary has seen five pay raises, the latest of which was passed in 1999. Currently, U.S. Presidents receive an annual salary of $400,000, as well as a pension after they leave office.
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“The president’s gift underscores his promise to do all he can for vets, which includes supporting those who care for veterans. Not just those of us at VA, but the husbands, the wives, the families and the community caregivers who are out there day in and day out,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.
President Trump’s previous donations of his presidential salary have been given to the Department for Health and Human Services to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic, the Department of Transportation for infrastructure, the National Park Service and the Department of Education.
“These brave men and women deserve our absolute best, which is why the president is fighting for reform and accountability at the VA,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders at a press briefing.
Watch the White House press briefing announcing the donation in the video below.
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.