President Trump pledges $1 million of his own money for Harvey relief
(CNN) — President Donald Trump will donate $1 million of his fortune to recovery efforts in Texas, though the White House says he hasn’t determined which group or groups will receive the contribution.
“He would like to join in the efforts that a lot of people we have seen across the country do,” press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at the White House, saying the funds would come from the President’s “personal money.”
She said the President hadn’t determined which organization to support, but solicited requests from the media for worthy groups.
“He actually asked that I check with the folks in this room since you are very good at research and have been doing a lot of reporting into the groups and organizations that are best and most effective in helping and providing aid, and he’d like some suggestions from the folks here and I’d be happy to take those,” she said during the daily press briefing.
On Tuesday, the President’s campaign asked supporters to donate to charities involved in the Texas recovery effort. They included the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and animal rescue groups. Sanders couldn’t say on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday whether the President had yet donated funds himself, saying only that he was looking into it.
Asked Thursday whether the donation would come from Trump’s own fortune or from the coffers of the Trump Organization, Sanders indicated she wasn’t sure legally where the donation would originate, but that it would be the President’s own money.
Trump has come under scrutiny in the past for charitable donations, including allegations he often didn’t follow through on promised contributions after announcing them publicly. A promised donation to veterans’ groups during last year’s presidential campaign didn’t materialize until months later, after questions from reporters.
He has made good on a vow to donate the entirety of his his presidential salary since taking office. Sanders’ predecessor Sean Spicer similarly asked reporters in March to suggest worthy recipients of his donations. Since then, Trump has donated funds to the National Park Service and the Department of Education.
Past presidents have also made personal donations during moments of national trauma. President Barack Obama donated to funds for victims of the Boston bombings and the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. He also donated $200,000 — taken from his Nobel Peace Prize award — to a relief foundation set up after the Haiti earthquake by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Trump visited Texas on Tuesday to receive updates from local authorities on the state’s recovery efforts. He’s due to return to the area on Saturday.