Donald Trump will donate his annual presidential salary of USD 4,00,000 to charity by year's end, spokesman Sean Spicer said. The POTUS wants the media to help him choose a worthy cause.
“The president's intention is to donate his salary at the end of the year, He made a pledge to the American people,” Spicer told reporters in a briefing on Saturday
“He kindly asked that you all help determine where that goes,” he continued, a rather unusual statement from a White House that has made hostile confrontation with the media a near-daily occurrence.
“The way that we can avoid scrutiny is to let the press corps determine where it should go,” Spicer said with a hint of irony, perhaps in reference to past media scrutiny of Trump's donations and the management of his family foundation.
The matter is still to be fully resolved, as the president receives his annual salary of $400,000 in four installments, the first of which he is due to receive later this week.
"He is required to get a paycheck but will be giving it back to (the) treasury or donating," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Politifact, adding that the staff was trying to determine the legal process to do so.
She declined to answer several inquiries into whether Trump has gotten a paycheck already, which would be about $33,333. In addition to the $400,000, a president is afforded a $50,000 expense account.
The billionaire businessman has often said that he does not want to draw a salary, save one dollar, the legal minimum.
"As far as salary is concerned, I won't take even one dollar," Trump said in a Q&A Twitter session in September 2015. "I am totally giving up my salary if I become president."
Discussions about the president's salary trace back as far as 1789.
Former US Presidents Herbert Hoover and John F Kennedy also donated their salaries to charity while in office. According to records, George Washington initially declined his $25,000 salary, but Congress refused to comply in order to prevent the president from being bribed by outside incentives.
(With inputs from PTI and Politifact)