President Trump said that he would not take a salary while serving in government. But apparently, that is just not possible. Not only must he take the salary, but it is also against the law for a sitting president to change their pay. So the president just donated his first quarter of wages to The National Park Service. Trump plans to donate the entire yearly salary of $400,000 to worthy charities, and he chose the Park Service as the recipient of his first installment of $78,333, which covers his first ten weeks in office.
Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, delivered an oversized check for that amount to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at the beginning of Monday’s White House briefing. Spicer shared that it is not as easy as you would think to give money back to government agencies. It had to be cleared and approved by the White House counsel.
Zinke was accompanied at the briefing by Tyrone Brandyburg, the superintendent at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, in Harpers Ferry W. V. Zinke said that the president’s gift would be earmarked for preservation of national battlefields. “These historic places tell the story of conflicts that helped shape our country’s history, and they also honor the many men and women who have given their lives in service of this great nation,” Zinke said in a statement. “I’m honored to help the president carry out his love and appreciation for our warriors and land.”
But Zinke also referenced that the gift won’t go very far. “We’re about $229 million behind in deferred maintenance on our battlefields alone,” he said. The budget that President Trump is proposing would take $1.5 billion from the Interior Department’s budget. Conservationists denounced the president’s donation as a “publicity stunt.” “If Donald Trump is actually interested in helping our parks, he should stop trying to slash their budgets to historically low levels,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “America’s parks, and the people and economies they support, need real funding, not a giant fake check. Parks are a good investment, and we must invest now if we want them to be around for our kids,” Brune added.
What do you think about President Trump’s donation? We would like to read your comments.