Billionaire U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Thursday he does not want the $400,000 annual salary that comes with the White House job and would turn it down if elected.
Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2016 race, was asked at a town hall-style meeting in Rochester, New Hampshire, if, as president, he reduce the generous pension and healthcare benefits given to members of Congress.
“The first thing I’m going to do is tell you that if I’m elected president, I’m accepting no salary, ok?” Trump said. “That’s not a big deal for me, but…”
Here's something we haven't heard from Donald J. Trump: "If I'm elected president, I'm accepting no salary."
Posted by Fox Business on Thursday, September 17, 2015
Trump has stated that he would not accept a salary several months ago, but the media did not cover it.
Trump, who built his fortune as a developer, real estate mogul and reality television personality, was listed on Thursday at No. 405 on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s billionaires, with a fortune of $4.1 billion. Shortly after announcing his candidacy in June, Trump said his net worth was more than $10 billion, Reuters reports.
Herbert Hoover, who made millions of dollars in mining before becoming president in 1921, and John F. Kennedy, who came from a wealthy family, both donated their presidential salaries to charity.
George Washington was initially reluctant to accept the $25,000 presidential salary. He had previously refused payment as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and struggled with the ethics of receiving payment for public service. However, he eventually relented and took a small salary because he did not want to set a precedent for other presidents.
Despite his unease with receiving compensation, he also complained that his pay was not sufficient to cover the expenses of his household and at times he even had to pay expenses out of pocket, according to mountvernon.org.
Since 2001, the salary for the POTUS has been $400,000 per year, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account, and $19,000 for entertainment. The last salary raise Congress approved was in 1999, which President Bill Clinton proposed.