Donald Trump claimed on Monday that he was donating $100,000 of his yearly presidential salary to the Department of Homeland Security and the rest of his $400,000 income to other agencies. In an afternoon tweet, the president posted an image of a check made out to DHS accusing the “fake news media” of failing to report on his charitable giving.
Trump added that if he didn’t really donate the money that he was claiming to donate, there would be “hell to pay” from the media.
It isn’t the first time that the president has donated his salary to a government agency. According to the White House, Trump has donated part of his salary to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Park Service, the Department of Education, and the Department of Transportation.
Most recently, in January, Trump donated $100,000 – a quarter of his yearly salary – to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. According to The Washington Post, alcoholism is an issue that is important to the president, who lost his brother Fred Trump Jr. in 1981 at the age of 43 after struggling with alcohol for most of his adult life.
“I had a brother, Fred,” he once said, according to Northern Star. “Great guy, best-looking guy. Best personality, much better than mine. But he had a problem, a problem with alcohol,” he added.
Trump himself famously doesn’t touch alcohol after watching his brother’s struggle.
“I’m not a drinker. I can honestly say I never had a beer in my life. It’s one of my only good traits. I never had a glass of alcohol. I never had alcohol, for whatever reason. Can you imagine if I had? What a mess I would be. I would be the world’s worst. I never drank, OK?”
While the press doesn’t like writing about it, nor do I need them to, I donate my yearly Presidential salary of $400,000.00 to different agencies throughout the year, this to Homeland Security. If I didn’t do it there would be hell to pay from the FAKE NEWS MEDIA! pic.twitter.com/xqIGUOwh4x— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2019
In 2018, Trump donated his second-quarter salary to the Small Business Administration veterans program for veterans interested in entrepreneurship.
In 2017, his first quarterly salary went to the National Park Service’s maintenance of a historic Civil War site at the Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland. His third quarterly salary that year went to the Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to fight the opioid crisis.
Trump famously claimed that he wouldn’t take a salary if elected president, and so far that’s a promise he seems to have kept. The president has been paid $1 a year as salary since the office is required to accept a salary.