WASHINGTON - President Trump is donating $78,333.32 — his salary since taking office Jan. 20 — to the National Park Service, officials said Monday.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer opened his daily press briefing by presenting a Trump-signed check to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Tyrone Brandyburg, superintendent of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia.
"We're going to dedicate it and put against the infrastructure on our nation's battlefields," Zinke said. "We're about $100 million or $229 million behind in deferred maintenance on our battlefields alone."
Trump, who has been criticized for not releasing tax returns that would show how much he has donated to charities over the years, said last year he would not accept the president's annual salary of $400,000.
The decision to note the first part of his salary to the park service comes as his budget calls for cuts across the federal government, including the Department of Interior.
The budget blueprint that Trump sent to Congress last month proposes an 11.7% cut to Interior, which includes the National Parks Service. But the exact impact on the parks is unclear. Trump says he wants reduce funding for major land acquisitions, but invest in deferred maintenance projects.
Spicer said Trump consulted with White House lawyers on the best way to convey his salary.
"Ironically, it's not as easy to give money to the federal government as you think," Spicer said. "Except the IRS."
Contributing: Gregory Korte
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