During his campaign for the presidency, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would not collect the yearly $400,000 presidential salary.
On Monday, the president followed through with his promise. Trump gave the money he has earned so far as president to the U.S. National Park Service.
The donation totaled $78,333.32.
Trump is the third U.S. president to have rejected a salary. John F. Kennedy and Herbert Hoover were the others. Both were extremely wealthy men like Trump.
Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, announced the first of Trump’s donations during a daily press meeting Monday.
Spicer presented the donation, in the form of a large check, to Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke. The National Park Service is part of the Department of the Interior.
Standing next to Zinke was Tyrone Brandyburg. He is superintendent at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia.
Zinke said in a statement that Trump’s gift will be used to help repair national battlefields and military parks within the National Park Service.
“These historic places tell the story of conflicts that helped shape our country’s history,” Zinke said. “I’m honored to help the president carry out his love and appreciation for our warriors and land.”
However, critics say that Trump’s donation to the National Park Service is small compared to the amount of money that it — and the Interior Department as a whole — may lose under Trump’s proposed budget.
His plan would cut $1.5 billion dollars from the department, or 12 percent of its total budget.
The National Park Service says it needs almost $12 billion to pay for long-needed repairs to many of its more than 400 sites.
Zinke said Monday that “we’re about $229 million behind in deferred maintenance on our battlefields alone.”
The National Park Service operates 25 sites that are considered battlefield parks or sites and military parks. Among the most popular is Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg National Military Park — the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. More than 1 million people visit that park each year.
I’m Ashley Thompson.
Words in This Story
salary – n. an amount of money that an employee is paid each year
charity – n. an organization that helps people who are poor, sick, etc.
appreciation – n. a feeling of being grateful for something
warrior – n. a person who fights in battles and is known for having courage and skill
defer – v. to choose to do (something) at a later time
maintenance – n. the act of keeping property or equipment in good condition by making repairs, correcting problems, etc.