Donald Trump has made some pretty surprising moves during his time on campaign trail, and even more surprising ones since he became the president-elect of the United States last week.
However, one of Trump’s most unorthodox moves came during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, when stated he’d do something only two of the past 44 presidents have done: forego a salary while in office.
Trump was asked about the presidential salary by Leslie Stahl.
“I’ve never commented on this, but the answer is no,” Trump said.
“I think I have to by law take $1, so I’ll take $1 a year. But it’s a — I don’t even know what it is. Do you know what the salary is?” he asked Stahl.
“Four hundred thousand, you’re giving up,” Stahl said in mock disbelief.
“No, I’m not going to take the salary. I’m not taking it,” he continued.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 14, 2016
Only two presidents prior to Trump have not taken a salary. John F. Kennedy came from a dynasty so wealthy that it provided numerous generations of distant cousins, nephews and grandnephews with enough money to maintain a steady stream of alcohol and controlled substances. According to Independent Journal, President Kennedy — the wealthiest man to ever take the office — always gave his salary to charity whether he was in Congress, the Senate or the White House.
Herbert Hoover, while no Kennedy in terms of wealth, was no slouch either. Best known (somewhat speciously) as the president who led us into the Great Depression, According to Independent Journal, Hoover was worth $4 million in 1913, which would be equivalent to just shy of $100 million today. He also donated his salary to charity, in addition to using it to augment the wages of his staff.
Estimations of Trump’s wealth vary wildly, anywhere up to $10 billion; a September Forbes article put his wealth at $3.7 billion, a conservative estimate but enough to finance at least five or six generations of Trumps or one donation to the Clinton Foundation. He clearly doesn’t need the money, and he’s not going to make the American people pay for it.
Will this regard for the American taxpayer apply to the rest of the Trump’s presidency? We’ll have to see. However, this certainly doesn’t bode ill for Trump’s sense of fiscal responsibility.
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H/T The Hill