Donald Trump falsely claimed on Monday that he was the only president in history to give away his presidential salary. During a lengthy press conference at the White House where Trump talked about numerous different topics, the president boasted that “no other president” has given away the money allotted to them while running the country.
But according to Politico, numerous presidents have given away their salary or offered to forgo a salary throughout the country’s history.
“I give away my presidential salary,” Trump said. “They say no other president has done it. I’m surprised, to be honest with you. They say George Washington may have been the only other president to do that. See whether or not Obama gave up his salary. See whether or not all of the other of your favorites, your other favorites gave up their salary. The answer is no.”
A quick fact check shows that at least three presidents prior to Trump have given away their yearly salary. The first president, George Washington, said that he didn’t want to be paid for his service to the country as president, but because the Constitution dictates that the U.S. president must take a salary, he eventually accepted $25,000.
President Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States, was a multimillionaire when he took office. He made his fortune as an engineer and businessman. Instead of taking a salary, he donated the money to charitable causes.
John F. Kennedy, the 35th president, also donated his salary to charity. At the time, he was the richest man to take the office of president, with a family fortune north of $1 billion. He refused a salary not only while serving as president, but also while he was a member of the House and Senate. He did, however, accept a $50,000 expense account set aside for entertaining.
Trump on failed effort to host G7 at Doral: "See whether or not Obama gave up his salary…I'm very good at real estate. Much better than you even understand. When you see my financials, which I'll give at the right time, you'll say, 'man, he was much better than we thought!'" ???? pic.twitter.com/fahLiOvvZq
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 21, 2019
The Constitution stipulates that a president must accept a salary in order to prevent any potential conflicts of interest and to assure that anyone can run for the office, even if they don’t have personal wealth.
While running for office, Trump assured voters that he would forgo the $400,000 a year salary currently given the president. He has made good on that promise, donating the money to the National Park Service, the Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture.
During the same news conference, Trump called the Constitution’s emoluments clause “phony” after deciding not to have the G7 summit at his Trump Doral resort in Florida, as The Inquisitr previously reported.