Despite repeatedly promising to donate his annual salary in office, former President Donald Trump apparently made zero charitable contributions during his last year in the White House, according to just-released tax documents from the House Ways and Means Committee.
The taxes, published by Congress after a years-long and frequently acrimonious legal battle with the former president, show that while Trump did indeed make a series of salary donations in his first three years in office — often touted during White House press briefings. But Trump's well of philanthropic goodwill evidently dried up entirely by 2020, during which he reported absolutely no charitable gifts at all, a New York Times analysis found. He had previously reported nearly $2 million dollars of donations in 2017, and more than half a million dollars the subsequent two years.
The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold, who has tracked Trump's finances for years, had previously speculated that Trump may have indeed welched on his campaign promise, writing in July 2021 that "six months after he left office, it's not clear where Trump donated that remaining salary — or if he donated it at all." Still, Trump's communications team insisted during his last year in office that he had continued to make his salary donations without interruption, with then-Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany promising that his Q1 paycheck would be directed to help the Health and Human Services Department fight the surging coronavirus pandemic.
However, according to the analysis from the Times' experts, no donation was ever reported on his 2020 tax forms.
In a message shared to his Truth Social platform on Friday, Trump himself lashed out at the release of his tax documents, claiming that all the data showed was his business acumen, while threatening that "the Democrats should never have done it, the Supreme Court should never have approved it, and it's going to lead to horrible things for so many people."