President Trump has donated his first quarterly salary to the National Park Service, the same agency whose funding he has proposed to cut dramatically. White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday handed a check for $78,333 to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who oversees the agency. Zinke said he was “thrilled” with the donation. Critics, however, took to Twitter to note that the check was worth about half as much as it costs to protect Trump per day at his Mar-a-Lago club. Spicer had earlier promised that Trump would donate his entire salary to charity at the end of the year, but on Monday said the president had chosen the National Park Service over several other alternatives. “The park service has cared for our parks since 1916, and the president is personally proud to contribute the first quarter of his salary to the important mission of the park service, which is preserving our country’s national security,” Spicer said.
Trump has proposed a $1.5 billion cut to the Interior Department, which is in charge of the National Park Service. It’s not clear how much the park service specifically would lose under Trump’s plan, but the agency already has a backlog of deferred maintenance that the environmental group Sierra Club said would need $12 billion to fix. The National Park Service’s 2017 discretionary budget request was $3,101,450. The agency’s 2017 budget also requested $4.2 million to cover the costs of Trump’s presidential inauguration.