During his campaign days, billionaire businessman Donald Trump said he would perform presidential duties without taking a dollar. However, since he had received his first paycheck, there has been no proof that Trump donated any of the money.
Early on, Trump had boldly declared that he would not take a single cent from his paycheck if voted president. Typically, a U.S. president earns $400,000 each year. The salary was doubled when President George W. Bush took office in 2001.
Aside from this, the U.S. Code states that the president is entitled to an expense allowance amounting to $50,000. Any unused amount of the said allowance must be returned to Treasury. That puts Trump’s expectedly salary at around $33,333 each month.
Trump cannot refuse salary altogether, decides to take $1
Back in September 2015, Trump had famously remarked, “I won’t take even one dollar.” He further explained, “I am totally giving up my salary if I become president.”
Legally, however, Trump is not allowed to refuse his salary. Simply put, Article II of the U.S. Constitution prevents him from serving pro bono as president. In fact, it partly states, “The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected.”
According to a report from PolitiFact, this is the reason why Trump made a slight change to his promise. He now said he would accept $1 for the job. Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders refuses to say whether the current president has received his first paycheck already. Trump is set to receive his second monthly paycheck anytime soon.
Where is Trump’s paycheck going now? No one would answer
Meanwhile, Vanity Fair recently reported that there are no documents or further information that reveals how Trump uses his salary. There is reportedly no documentation or information presented by the Treasury Department, White House or Office of Personnel Management regarding the matter. So far, the Trump administration has been mum on where the money is going in relation to Trump or his organization.
For instance, the Trump Organization has been receiving money from dignitaries and foreign governments as payment for staying and spending in its hotels. The said payment can become a violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. However, a Trump lawyer argued that such should be exempted as these are revenues, not gifts. So far, the White House has refused to give details about where the money is going.
During a recent press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer addressed the matter of Trump’s salary. He said that Trump plans to donate his earned money at the end of the year. “The way that we can avoid scrutiny is to let the press corps determine where it should go,” Spicer further remarked. To this, the media gamely answered, “Oh, we have a few ideas.”