WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday donated his second quarter salary to a new Small Business Administration initiative to help veteran entrepreneurs, the second time this year he has given money to federal veterans initiatives, according to the White House.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced the donation at a White House briefing on Wednesday. Linda McMahon, head of the Small Business Administration, accepted the $100,000 check, saying the funds “would be put to good use.”
Agency officials plan to use the money to launch a new seven-month training program for transitioning troops looking at starting their own businesses. The program will be based on the existing Emerging Leaders Initiative, but tailored to veteran-specific needs.
The existing program includes classroom instruction as well as “opportunities for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections.” McMahon called it a significant resource for veterans shifting from military to civilian life.
White House officials requested a fiscal 2019 budget for the SBA of nearly $840 million, but McMahon said the $100,000 donation from the president represented an important contribution to their work.
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to forgo the traditional Oval Office salary and instead donate that money to various federal departments.
Earlier this year, White House officials announced Trump’s first quarter salary for 2018 would be given to the Department of Veterans Affairs for caregiver support programs focused on “mental health, peer support, financial aid, education and research.”
Previous donations by Trump went to the Department of Transportation for infrastructure repair, the National Park Service for battlefield preservation, the Department of Education for support programs and the Department of Health and Human Services for opioid management programs.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.