President Trump has revealed he is donating a quarter of his annual salary to the National Parks Service to ‘repair and restore’ public statues vandalized during anti-police protests.
Taking to Twitter on Saturday morning, the Commander-in-chief shared a photo of a check made out to the government agency, writing: ‘I promised YOU I would not take a dime of salary as your President. I donate the entire $400,000! It is my honor to give $100,000 to @NatlParkService to help repair and restore our GREAT National Monuments.’
‘So important to our American History! Thank You!!’ he added.
Back in 2016, Trump vowed to forgo the annual six-figure presidential salary on account of his billionaire status, saying he would instead donate the money to enterprises of his choosing.
President Trump has revealed he is donating a quarter of his annual salary to the National Parks Service to ‘repair and restore’ public statues vandalized during Black Lives Matter protests. A statue of Confederate General Albert Pike in New Orleans was vandalized July 9
A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia was plastered graffiti
The President has decried the vandalism, and signed an Executive Order in late June ‘Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues’
Each quarter, the Commander-in-chief usually announces where his funds are going. Back in May, he revealed that $100,000 of his 2020 earnings would go to the HHS to help in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis.
Dozens of monuments have been defaced and destroyed across the country following the May 25 death of unarmed black man, George Floyd.
A majority of those statues depict Confederate generals or historical figures with ties to colonization and the subjugation of people of color.
However, churches and statues of Jesus Christ have also been defaced.
Some protesters also tried to bring down a statue depicting President Abraham Lincoln freeing a black slave just blocks from the White House.
Paint was splattered over the Jefferson Davis Memorial in Richmond, Virginia in early June
A statue of Christopher Columbus is shown vandalized at Bayfront Park in Miami in June
Trump shows off the executive order he signed to protect monuments and statues on the night of June 26
Protesters are pictured attempting to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson, which has stood in place outside the White House since the 1800s
The President has decried the vandalism, and signed an Executive Order in late June ‘Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues’.
The order stated that ‘Key targets in the violent extremists’ campaign against our country are public monuments, memorials, and statues. Their selection of targets reveals a deep ignorance of our history, and is indicative of a desire to indiscriminately destroy anything that honors our past and to erase from the public mind any suggestion that our past may be worth honoring, cherishing, remembering, or understanding.’
It went on to say that Trump’s Administration ‘will not allow violent mobs incited by a radical fringe to become the arbiters of the aspects of our history that can be celebrated in public spaces. State and local public officials’ abdication of their law enforcement responsibilities in deference to this violent assault must end.’
As part of the Order, Trump promised prison sentences of up to 10 years for those who damage them.
He subsequently tweeted: ‘I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!’
In Minnesota, protesters pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus outside the State Capitol in June
Trump is even trying to incorporate his protection of public monuments into his re-election campaign.
Last month, his campaign used an image of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil in a series of Facebook and Instagram ads.
‘We will protect this,’ the ads read, attached to the accounts of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, with visuals of the giant Jesus statue that is a recognizable piece of Rio’s skyline.
The digital ads quickly disappeared after people poked fun at the fact the statue was not even within America’s borders.
‘We will protect this,’ boasted the ad that included a picture of the Christ the Redeemer statue, which is in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Meanwhile, statues of Confederate Leaders and the explorer Christopher Columbus have been removed by city officials.
The issue is quite contentious – with Trump hoping public opinion is on his side.
In a late-June Morning Consult survey, 47 per cent of registered voters thought the statues should remain standing, while 36 per cent said they should be taken down.
Just 10 per cent of Republicans said they supported the removal of Confederate monuments, compared to 60 per cent of Democrats.
In the same poll, voters were split 40 per cent to 40 per cent when asked if statues of slave-owners should remain or be removed.