Trump donates first 3 months of salary to Park Service

Zinke and Tyrone Brandyburg, the superintendent of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, pre-empted the daily press briefing to accept a $78,333 check from Trump made out to NPS, which Zinke said would be used to fund maintenance projects at historic battlefield sites.

The retweeted photo showed Trump's inauguration crowd - one that depicted far fewer crowds than those that turned out for Obama's inauguration eight years previous - placed side by side with one from his predecessor's big day.

Donald Trump promised during the campaign to donate his salary from President of the United States to a charitable organization: he finally opted for the National Parks. "This publicity stunt is a sad consolation prize as Trump tries to stifle America's best idea", The Sierra Club said in a statement. He also said the park service was $229 million behind in deferred maintenance on the nation's 29 battlefields.

The White House press secretary was quick to jump to Trump's defence, painting the president in a somewhat philanthropic light. "As a veteran myself, I want to say I am thrilled at the President's decision to donate the check he did today", he said.

FILE - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks at the Interior Department in Washington, March 29, 2017.

Meanwhile, some Trump supporters lauded the president's move.

Mr Trump's budget proposal calls for a 12% ($1.5bn) cut to the Interior Department, which oversees the National Park Service. "I'm honored to help the president carry out his love and appreciation for our warriors and land".

President Trump and The National Park Service have a tense relationship, to put it mildly.

The White House announcement came after investigative reporters at ProPublica reported Trump amended his trust - created to curb conflicts of interest - to make it possible to withdraw cash whenever needed.

U.S. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, sent a letter last week to the White House that was signed by herself and U.S. Reps.

The president earns $400,000 a year, paid in monthly installments.

  • Leroy Wright