The White House has announced that President Trump will be donating his quarterly salary, in line with his promise to not collect a penny of taxpayer dollars while in office, to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In a press conference on Thursday, WH press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Trump’s “$100,000 quarterly salary will go toward the VA’s caregiver programs,” according to The Hill.
“Today, the President is proud to donate his 2018 first quarter salary to the Department of Veteran Affairs to support their caregiver programs,” Huckabee said as part of his commitment to “important projects.”
Accepting the donation on Thursday was Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, who promised to put the money toward mental health and peer support programs, as well as financial aid and research.
“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,” Wilkie said.
After Trump fired former VA Secretary David Shulkin, the VA has been without a full-time director. His nominated replacement, Adm. Ronny Jackson, withdrew from the candidacy amidst accusations of misconduct.
This marks the fifth quarterly donation from Trump, having previously given the salary to the Transportation Department, the Health and Human Services Department for the opioid epidemic, the National Park Service, and the Education Department.
Prior to his being elected, Trump promised that he would not collect a salary, opting to donate to whatever cause, service, or government program he pleased.
“The first thing I’m going to do is tell you that if I’m elected president, I’m accepting no salary, ok,” he said as far back as 2015. “That’s not a big deal for me.”
Both Presidents Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy are the only other two presidents in history who donated their salaries to charity and government causes.