During Trump’s first interview as president-elect in November, he told 60 Minutes that he wouldn’t accept the $400,000 annual salary, which is paid out monthly. “I think I have to by law take $1, so I’ll take $1 a year,” Trump, 70, said. He later clarified via a spokesperson that he will either donate his salary to the Department of the Treasury or charity.
Spicer, 45, specified during Monday’s White House press briefing that the ex-Apprentice host, who is worth an estimated $3.7 billion per Forbes, will wait until the end of the year to donate his wages. “The president’s intention right now is to donate his salary at the end of the year, and he has kindly asked that you all help him determine where that goes,” he told reporters. “The way that we can avoid scrutiny is let the press corps determine where it should go.”
While some journalists laughed, Spicer made it clear he was being sincere. “In all seriousness, I think his view is he made a pledge to the American people, he wants to donate it to charity and he would love your help to determine where it should go,” he said. It seems there was no shortage of ideas. One member of the media piped up and suggested that it go toward funding journalism scholarships. The POTUS has had a tumultuous relationship with the media and told Fox & Friends last month that he’s skipping the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April due to “fake news.”
Trump has also pledged to donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels and other businesses to the United States Treasury during his term. His attorney Sheri Dillon said this would help avoid concerns about conflicts of interest during the business mogul’s first press conference as president on February 16.