President Donald Trump has responded to the controversy over whether or not Mr. Trump would keep his promises to donate his presidential salary to charity. As reported in the following Washington Post tweet, reporter David Frum notes that if President Trump does indeed donate his salary as president to charity in 2017, it will be 40 times more than what Mr. Trump has given to charity in the seven years leading up to 2016.
If Trump does donate his presidential salary to charity in 2017, that’s 40x more than he gave in the 7 years to 2016 https://t.co/HFCG2S0i2D
— David Frum (@davidfrum) March 13, 2017
The below CNN video shows Sean Spicer answering a press question about Mr. Trump’s promises to donate his salary, with Spicer being asked to confirm if President Trump donated his February salary yet. That’s when Spicer said that it is President Trump’s “intention” to donate his salary at the end of the year — presumably the end of 2017 — and that Mr. Trump wants the press to help him figure out where to donate the monies.
Sean Spicer: President Trump will "donate his salary at the end of the year" and would like reporters to "help determine where that goes." pic.twitter.com/Csn69n6QgS
— CNN (@CNN) March 13, 2017
The surprising notion of the press helping President Trump figure out where to donate his salary caused laughter throughout the briefing press room on Monday, and brought suggestions of donating Mr. Trump’s salary to journalistic scholarships and other endeavors.
The news came in the wake of people questioning if President Trump would actually donate his presidential salary, as reported by Vanity Fair. Since the Constitution makes it clear that presidents must receive a salary under the “Compensation Clause,” President Trump can’t refuse his presidential salary. Therefore, the twist is that Mr. Trump is asking for the media’s help in determining where to donate the salary.
— Politics4All.com (@Politics4All) March 13, 2017
The latest reports before the news that Mr. Trump would ask for the media’s help were critical of the president. Initially, there weren’t any answers on what President Trump was doing with the White House salary he said he didn’t want, reported the New York Daily News. Media reports continued to hold Mr. Trump’s feet to the fire over the campaign trail promises he made saying that he didn’t want the salary.
There was no proof of any donations Mr. Trump had made thus far with his salary, reported NBC News. The $400,000 annual salary became a topic of debate as questions to the White House, and the Treasury Department didn’t provide proof of any donations yet.
However, folks remembered President Trump, as reported by the Daily Mail, promising not to touch a cent of his salary. Mr. Trump told one of his rally crowds in Rochester, New Hampshire, that donating his salary would be one of the first things he did as president. Since that time, Mr. Trump said during his 60 Minutes interview that he would only take $1 as his presidential salary and donate $399,999 to a charity.
Now that Mr. Trump has asked for the help of the media to help him determine where to give the money, questions are arising on social media as to why President Trump asked reporters to help him figure out where to give the money. It’s a surprising move, what with how much the Trump administration is at odds with the media some days. However, others are calling the move a cunning one on Mr. Trump’s part.
Instead of simply choosing his favorite charity, Mr. Trump put the onus on the press to help him figure out where to give the money. Perhaps that way, the Trump administration could anticipate absolving themselves of any criticism from the same media figures who help President Trump figure out where to donate funds.
Quint A Rahaman Jr. shared The Daily Caller‘s post and wrote: “I love this answer. Now, who’s going to ask questions of the Press Corps when they finally come out with their list of entities to which the President’s salary be donated? It would be awesome to have the President ask the first question of them.”
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]