Politics

Trump Donates Salary To National Park Service (Photos)

| by Jonathan Constante

President Donald Trump has donated his first quarter salary of $78,333 to the National Park Service, the same agency he got into a spat with over photos of his inauguration crowd.

The announcement was made by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer during a White House press briefing, the Daily Mail reported. Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke held up a copy of the check signed by Trump.

Spicer had previously told reporters the president wanted their advice on deciding which charity should receive the money. After reviewing options with the White House counsel's office, Trump landed on the National Park Service.

"His council presented him with several options," Spicer told reporters during the press briefing. "Ironically, it's not as easy to give money to the federal government as you think. Except the IRS."

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The donation accounted for Trump's presidential salary from Inauguration Day until the end of the first quarter, according to Spicer. Zinke posed with a copy of the check alongside Tyrone Brandyburg, who is the superintendent of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Despite Trump's salary donation of $78,333, his budget calls for a 12 percent cut to the Interior Department, a loss estimated at around $1 billion, the Daily Mail reported.

Zinke said the donation would go toward funding maintenance for battlefield monuments. He added that deferred maintenance for the monuments calls for about $229 million.

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The day after being sworn into office, Trump called the head of the park service, pressuring them to provide photographs of his inauguration after getting into a spat over the size of his crowd compared to that of former President Barack Obama during his inauguration, The Washington Post reported. He was also reportedly upset with the park service's tweet comparing the two crowds.

This isn't the first time a donation from the Trump campaign came under scrutiny.

During a Jan. 28 fundraiser for veterans, the president claimed his campaign raised $6 million. But according to the New York Post and The Washington Post, the fundraiser only raised about $3.1 million.

Corey Lewandowski, who was Trump's campaign manager at the time, told the Post that the fundraiser actually made about $4.5 million. He claimed the difference was because Trump's acquaintances failed to follow through on pledge donations.

“There were some individuals who he’d spoken to, who were going to write large checks, [who] for whatever reason ... didn’t do it,” Lewandowski told the Post during a phone interview. “I can’t tell you who.”

Sources: Daily Mail, The Washington Post (2) / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Reuters via Daily Mail, AP via Daily Mail

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