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Mystery of $220,000 of Trump’s presidential salary that he promised to donate but disappeared

·2 min read
Trump’s last donation was made to the National Parks Service on 23 July 2020 (AP)
Trump’s last donation was made to the National Parks Service on 23 July 2020 (AP)

A new report has raised questions about whether former President Donald Trump really donated his salary toward the end of his time in office, as he repeatedly did earlier in his term. Mr Trump pledged to make the donations during his campaign, in an effort to demonstrate his supposed vast wealth and that he couldn’t be bought off as a politician.

Like clockwork, Mr Trump made a spectacle of donating his salary, including cutting a check emblazoned with his bold-lettered signature. In February 2018, then-Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao accepted the check in the White House briefing room. In March of the same year, Mr Trump boasted of the donations, calling it “a lot of money”.

But as The Washington Post reported on Friday, it’s unclear whether the money kept flowing at the end of the Trump administration.

“Trump’s White House never said where – or even if – he donated the last $220,000 of his salary, covering the final six months of 2020 and the first 20 days of 2021,” reported the Post’s David Fahrenthold, who has scrupulously tracked Mr Trump’s personal and corporate finances.

Mr Trump’s last donation, according to the report, was made to the National Parks Service on 23 July 2020.

It’s unclear whether Mr Trump opened his wallet after that. More than a dozen federal agencies were mum on whether they received a final gift. Spokespeople for Mr Trump promised to get back to the Post on the matter, but then failed to follow up.

Mr Trump is not one to let a good deed go unnoticed, so it would seem unlikely that he would quietly donate to a federal agency. And, as the Post, reported, Mr Trump is still receiving a government pension – which the former president has not pledged to donate.

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