President Donald Trump who has donated his $100,000 quarterly salary to a different government agency every three months — most recently to the Department of Transportation for infrastructure projects, has said he’s donating his first quarter salary to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as his search continues for a nominee to lead the agency. White House announced Thursday.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders presented a check from the president to acting VA secretary Robert Wilkie during the White House briefing on Thursday. Trump has pledged to return his entire salary to the federal government, and has used the symbolic check handover quarterly to highlight his administration’s policy efforts.
Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said at a press briefing that the money would go toward caregiver support programs, including mental health, peer support, research, education, training and financial aid.
His donation to the VA comes at a rocky moment for the agency. Trump fired Secretary David Shulkin in late March. Nearly a month later, Trump’s replacement pick, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, withdrew after allegations that the White House doctor had built a toxic work environment and over-prescribed pills.
The VA has been rocked by turmoil in recent months, including by the March firing of former secretary David Shulkin amid ethics concerns and internal discord. Trump’s nominee to fill the post, White House doctor Ronny Jackson, withdrew from consideration last month. Wilkie is among those being considered to fill the post permanently.
He Congrats the House for passing the VA MISSION Act yesterday,” he tweeted Thursday. “Without this funding our veterans will be forced to stand in never ending lines in order to receive care. Putting politics over our veterans care is UNACCEPTABLE.