Did Donald Trump Actually Donate His Entire Presidential Salary?

Former President Donald Trump doesn't stop making headlines, even after he's left the White House. But why would he? If there were one, signature trait from his period of holding public office, it was his penchant for remaining in the spotlight, for better or worse. Even after being replaced by President Joe Biden, Trump is back at it, fighting to stay in the public eye.

There's likely one more reason Trump hasn't faded into the Florida sunset. He might be coming back. There is substantial evidence that Trump isn't finished with politics. (Whether politics is finished with him is another question entirely). So it's not totally farfetched to imagine that Trump will run again in 2024; this is also the wish of many Republican voters (per The Hill).

So while we're looking ahead to the future and how much it will involve Trump, there's also reason to pause and look back at his time in office, namely around one of the big promises he made: giving away his presidential salary. However, it looks like Trump didn't hold true to his promise. Read on for more.

Where did the last six months of Trump's salary go?

While campaigning in 2016, former President Donald Trump promised voters that he would donate his presidential salary, which came to $400,000 a year before taxes, according to Forbes. Interestingly, by law, presidents are actually not allowed to decline a salary so the traditional protocol is to take it then donate it to a selected charity. This is what Trump did for the first three and a half years in office. Every quarter, Trump donated $100,000 to a federal agency. For example, as The Washington Post notes, in April 2017, Trump donated a quarterly amount to the ​​National Park Service to restore historic battlefields.

The outlet has documentation for each of Trump's quarterly donations ... up until his last six months. From July 2020 until Jan. 20 of this year, there is no record of Trump giving the final portion of his salary away. In fact, The Washington Post said they asked "federal agencies, and none has reported receiving anything from Trump after a gift in July 2020." To be fair, the outlet notes that there are more than 600 federal agencies so Trump's donation might have gone to a lesser-known location. However, none have stepped forward publicly.

Trump was not the first president to donate his salary. As Forbes notes, John F. Kennedy, as well as Herbert Hoover, gave their salaries away. That said, the "third and fourth quarters of 2020" as Forbes wrote, are still a mystery.