SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — As Sen. Bernie Sanders, the anti-billionaire presidential candidate, surged into Super Tuesday with polls showing him with a commanding lead in California, the White House press secretary made an announcement about the president giving his paycheck away.
Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted that Trump was continuing his commitment to donate all of his presidential salary while in office.
“Honoring that promise and to further protect the American people, he is donating his 2019 Q4 salary to @HHSGov (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) to support the efforts being undertaken to confront, contain, and combat #Coronavirus,” Grisham tweeted Tuesday as Californians went to polls to cast their votes.
The $100,000 check was dated Jan. 29. It made a big splash in news headlines, but overall, it was a small sliver of the income he makes from paychecks delivered from his private businesses.
Trump has remarked as much in past speeches, including one he delivered at a Pennsylvania rally in the summer of 2019, in which he claimed to be losing $3-5 billion while serving as president.
“This thing is costing me a fortune, being President… it’s probably costing me from 3 to 5 billion for the privilege of being — and I couldn’t care less. I don’t care. You know, if you’re wealthy, it doesn’t matter. I just want to do a great job. That’s why — I don’t care. I want to do the right job,” Trump said at the rally.
Forbes.com reported that Trump’s income is not actually “anywhere near $3 billion. And his net worth has not dropped by $3 billion since he went into politics.”
Trump’s non-presidential paychecks are not worth billions, but they are worth millions. A report released by the White House’s ethics office listed his 2018 income at $434 million. Trump is a real estate mogul who brings in millions from Florida golf courses, D.C. hotels, and luxury NYC towers.
Trump is the third president to give away his salary, following Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy.