On 25 August 2016, the clickbait web site Nevo News posted a story reporting that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had vowed to decline the salary offered if elected in the upcoming presidential election. That information was accurate as far as it went but was nearly a year old at that point.
During a town hall-style session on 17 September 2015, Donald Trump was asked about the generous healthcare and pension benefits given to members of Congress, and he responded (in part):
The first thing I’m going to do is tell you that if I’m elected president, I’m accepting no salary, ok. That’s not a big deal for me, but. The next thing is, when these guys go to Congress, as per your question, when they go to Congress, a couple of things happen. First of all, they get benefits that nobody else can even think about, ok. And they don’t like to talk about it. But we’ll work on that.
At the time the statement was made, Forbes listed Trump at No. 405 on their list of the world’s billionaires, with his net worth estimated at $4.1 billion. By the following, Trump’s net worth had slid $800 million to a total of $3.7 billion, according to Forbes.
If Trump were to win the election on 8 November 2016 and keep his word that he wouldn’t accept any of the $400,000 annual salary offered, he would be in the company of other such as John F. Kennedy, who was also born into wealth and donated his entire presidential salary to charity, and Herbert Hoover, who was also independently wealthy and donated his presidential salary to charitable causes.