Before President Donald Trump won the White House in 2016, he pledged as part of his campaign that should he become president, he would refuse the $400,000 presidential salary. But since U.S. law requires that he’s paid, he instead decided to donate his large paychecks to important government causes.
So far, Trump has upheld his promise, and on Friday, USA Today reported that the president donated his second-quarter salary of $100,000 to the office of the Surgeon General in an effort to fund an upcoming public health advisory.
The generous donation marks his third to the Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley stressed that Trump has a sincere interest in public health issues and praised his decision to once again donate to such causes.
“His decision to donate his salary is a tribute to his compassion, to his patriotism, and to his sense of duty to the American people,” Oakley said.
The specifics of what the public health advisory would entail weren’t released, though the White House released a few hints in a statement concerning the donation.
“The President recognizes the important mission of the Surgeon General to protect and improve the health of all Americans, including helping to tackle the opioid epidemic and raise awareness of the dangers of e-cigarette usage among teenagers and children,” the White House statement read.
Trump announced the news in a Friday tweet and said he felt good about his donation.
I donate 100% of my President’s salary, $400,000, back to our Country, and feel very good about it! https://t.co/cX8Op2qyw7— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2019
A tweet from the U.S. Surgeon General’s account expressed gratitude for the president’s donation, pledging to put the money to good use and hinted that it would be used for an “important issue impacting our communities,” which falls in line with the issues of opioid abuse and e-cigarette usage that the White House mentioned in their statement.
Trump has donated every quarterly paycheck since taking office, and his donations have been sent to agencies such as the National Park Service, Department of Transportation, Department of Education, the Veteran’s Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to USA Today, Trump donated his third-quarter 2018 salary to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Though the president doesn’t partake in alcohol, the issue is one close to his heart, as his late brother, Fred Trump Jr., died in 1981 after battling an alcohol addiction.
Trump donated his first-quarter 2019 salary to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and posted an image of the $100,000 check on Twitter while blasting the mainstream media for not covering the fact that he donates his presidential salary.