President Trump will donate the first three months of his salary to the National Park Service, the White House announced Monday.
The donation will provide $78,333.32 to the agency. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer formally presented the check to Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke and Tyrone Brandyburg, superintendent of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia, at the White House. While NPS has a partner charity, the National Park Foundation, Trump made his check out to the agency directly.
NPS can accept donations, per a note on the agency’s website, and they are tax deductible.
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“Donations can be directed to the general needs of the national park system or a park, or in support of a specific program or project,” according to the site.
Trump’s money will go directly toward preserving historic battlefields across the country, according to Zinke.
“I am thrilled at the president’s decision to donate to his check today,” Zinke said. “We are going to dedicate and put it against the infrastructure on our nation’s battlefields.” He added the department is $229 million behind in deferred maintenance on those projects.
Last month, Trump proposed cutting $1.5 billion -- or 12 percent -- of Interior’s budget in fiscal 2018. He did not set a specific funding level for NPS, but said the blueprint would support “stewardship capacity” for its land management operations. The White House also said the budget would preserve NPS assets “for future generations by increasing investment in deferred maintenance projects.”
In the past, federal officials have donated to their pay to the government, but those donations have typically gone to the Treasury Department’s general fund. Trump promised during the campaign not to take a salary if he were elected.