Politics

Trump Says He Will Donate Salary, But Not Now

| by Sheena Vasani

President Donald Trump says he plans to donate his salary to charity at the end of the year.

"Just in: WH Press Sec. Sean Spicer announcing Trump to donate salary to charity at *end of the year,* asks press for ideas on which one," tweeted Ari Melber, chief legal correspondent for MSNBC.

Spicer's announcement comes after the White House, the Treasury Department, and the Office of Personnel Management all declined to confirm to MSNBC whether or not Trump had donated his first $33,333 paycheck yet.

The lack of response caused many to raise their eyebrows. Despite Spicer's reply, some remain skeptical.

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"I don't care if he donates it or not," responded one Twitter user. "What's significant is by putting it nine months away, the topic dies down. That's the goal."

"He also said we would see Melania's papers, his taxes, proof of voter fraud...see a pattern here," chimed in another. "Do better."

"Riiiight," added a third person on Politico's Facebook post. "Just like the other charities he said he'd donate to for the media attention then didn't. He should prove it by showing us his taxes, not a giant fake game show check."

From near the start of his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to donate his salary to charity.

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This young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:

"I won't take even one dollar," Trump said as early as September 2015, reports PolitiFact. "I am totally giving up my salary if I become president."

"I'm not going to the take the salary," he later reiterated on CBS' "60 Minutes" after he won the election in November 2016. 

Again, in February 2017, White House officials simply repeated that the president will not be taking his $400,000 annual salary.

"He is required to get a paycheck but will be giving it back to [the] treasury or donating," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, referring to the fact presidents are bound by the Constitution to receive a salary.

"The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them," reads Article 2 of the Constitution.

In response, Trump said he would take only $1 -- yet it's unclear if this is still the plan. Sanders added in February the administration was still trying to determine the most lawful way to reject the salary.

Sources: Ari Melber/TwitterMSNBCPolitiFact, Politico/Facbook / Photo credit: Manuel Dohmen/Wikimedia Commons

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