As the first president to be a billionaire, many people have speculated how much Donald Trump actually gets paid.
The US president is paid a $400,000 annual salary, plus allowances for expenses, travel, and entertainment. This equates to roughly $1,100 per day. That being said, President Donald Trump donates his presidential salary to other national departments. His general earnings come from his businesses and royalties, although a sum for these earnings has not been disclosed.
Find out below how much Donald Trump is worth and how much he could earn as President.
A Lesson on the Value of Money
In an interview with Forbes in 2006, Trump was asked about his first job. He recalled when his father, Fred Trump, a real estate developer, would take him to his construction sites when he was younger.
His father wanted to teach Trump and his brother the importance of working for their money. To achieve this the brothers collected empty soda bottles and redeemed the deposit cash.
Trump stated that his next taste of working life was accompanying the rent collectors on their rounds, which was slightly tougher employment as he “learned to stand out of the doorway to avoid the possibility of being shot”.
This was a humble start to Trump’s earnings, stating he was paid the equivalent to a lower than average allowance.
Trump has always kept all evidence of exactly how much he earns and the true value of his empire under wraps.
In 1982, Forbes found that he had inflated his $100 million wealth in the Forbes 400 list, which instead should have been approximately $5 million. As of 2020, it is estimated that Trump is worth approximately $2.1 billion.
In the 1980s, Trump allegedly spoke to a Forbes reporter using an alias, John Barron (a Trump organization executive), and fabricated his own wealth. During a trial for a separate issue, Trump admitted to the court that he had used the name for business matters, saying “I believe on occasion I used that name”.
However, Trump now releases an annual financial disclosure report, which shows how much money his business assets generate. In his 2019 report, it was stated that he received $446 million in revenue (over $1.2 million per day) from over 200 corporate entities that he has business relationships with.
Trump’s business portfolio consists mainly of hotels, resorts, and golf courses, but also includes his TV appearances such as ‘The Apprentice’ and royalties from his books. Trump claims his book ‘The Art of the Deal’ pulled in between $100,001 and $1 million in 2017.
It is important to highlight that the report is disclosing the revenue of all Trump’s business ventures only. It does not show how profitable his businesses are, or how much he pays himself, either through salary or dividend payments.
To gain a better understanding of Trump’s salary we would need to see his tax returns, which, during his presidential campaign, he promised to release after they were “worked on”. However, these were never released, with his tax attorneys claiming that he’s been “under continuous examination” by the Internal Revenue Service since 2002.
During his 2016 presidential campaign, however, Trump made a commitment to not take the $400,000 salary if he were elected. Instead, he opted to only receive a $1 salary, redistributing his salary to various government departments.
Trump did keep this commitment, where each quarter he donates his salary to a different agency. For example, in 2019 he decided to give his quarter 4 salary to the Department of Health and Human Services in order to “support the efforts being undertaken to confront, contain, and combat Coronavirus”.
Previous donations have been provided to the Department of Homeland Security, to help fund the construction of the wall on the USA/Mexico border, as well as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, to help fight against alcohol addiction.
Trump isn’t the first president to not take a salary – both Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy donated their salaries to charity. Of course, Trump takes his salary from his businesses as well as royalties from his books.