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White House: Media Can Choose Where Trump Donates Pay

| by Lauren Briggs

White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed on March 13 that President Donald Trump intends to give away his yearly earnings from running the country, and he wants the media to help him decide where to send it.

"The president's intention right now is to donate his salary at the end of the year, and he has kindly asked that you all determine where that go," Spicer told White House reporters, according to The Hill. "The way that we can avoid scrutiny is to let the press corps determine where it should go."

Spicer's comments elicited laughter from the press, but he reassured reporters that President Trump was serious when he promised during the 2016 election that he would donate the $400,000 per year.

"As far as the salary is concerned -- I won’t take even $1," Trump said during a 2015 Twitter Q&A, according to CBS News. "I am totally giving up my salary if I become president."

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Later, in his first television interview as president-elect, Trump reiterated to "60 Minutes" that he would not accept any of the presidential salary beyond $1 per year, which he said is required by law.

Before becoming president, Trump's yearly income was estimated at around $557 million, while his total wealth is said to be around $3.7 billion.

"The first thing I'm going to do is tell you that if I'm elected president, I'm accepting no salary, Okay?" Trump said at a New Hampshire campaign rally. "That's not a big deal for me."

He also told John Dickerson of "Face The Nation" during the campaign that he would be "phasing out" his role in running his various companies so that he could focus entirely on the presidency. Money was no concern, he said.

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"Look, I would cut all ties.... I wouldn't care about it," Trump said at the time, according to CBS. "My kids will run it. I wouldn't want to expand very much. It wouldn't matter to me. I have a chance at making America great again; that's the whole focus."

Should Trump donate the entirety of his presidential salary, he would be the third Commander in Chief to do so, joining John F. Kennedy and Herbert Hoover.

"In all seriousness, I think [Trump's] view is, he made a pledge to the American people, he wants to donate it to charity, and he would love your help to determine where it should go," Spicer told the pool of reporters, according to The Hill.

Sources: The Hill, CBS News / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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