Pres. Trump donates first three months of salary to Park Service

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park Superintendent Tyrone Brandyburg, accompanied by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, hold up a check during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 3, 2017. President Donald Trump gave his first quarter salary to the National Park Service. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is donating the first three months of his salary to the National Park Service.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer handed an oversized check for $78,333.32 to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during Monday’s briefing.

The billionaire businessman turned president had promised to forgo his presidential salary. By law he must be paid, so he is donating the money. Taxpayers can write off such donations, potentially lowering their income taxes.

Zinke said he’s “thrilled” at the president’s decision to give money to an Interior agency, something he says Trump informed him about Sunday night. He said he will use the money to help on long-deferred maintenance projects on the nation’s 25 battlefields. Outstanding maintenance projects on those sites amount to about $229 million, Zinke said.

Trump’s has proposed cutting 12 percent from the Interior Department’s budget.

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