President Trump’s record of charitable donations has gotten him into trouble in the past. But a major donation he gave this week is earning kudos from both sides of America’s political divide.
Trump donated $100,000, his entire salary for the third quarter of 2018, to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), according to a press release from the White House.
The NIAAA is a part of the National Institutes of Health, a government agency responsible for health research and funding. The institute conducts and funds research into alcoholism, shares information with healthcare providers and policymakers, and develops treatments for people suffering because of alcohol abuse.
While the president did not expressly state that the donation was in honor of his late brother, Fred Trump Jr., many news outlets drew a connection between them.
Fred Trump was the president’s older brother (Trump has two surviving older siblings and a younger brother), an airline pilot who struggled with alcoholism before he died in 1981 at age 43.
Trump has publicly discussed his brother’s battle with addiction before, including while introducing a new anti-drug advertisement campaign at a speech in 2017.
"I learned myself," Trump told a crowd of reporters and people who had lost their loved ones to the opioid crisis. "I had a brother, Fred. Great guy, best-looking guy, best personality — much better than mine."
"But he had a problem. He had a problem with alcohol. And he would tell me: 'Don't drink. Don't drink.'"
Trump, a famous teetotaler who prefers diet coke to liquor, says he has "no longing" for alcohol or drugs because of his brother’s tragic experience.
"To this day, I've never had a cigarette... He really helped me. I had somebody that guided me. And he had a very, very, very tough life because of alcohol. Believe me — very, very tough, tough life. He was a strong guy, but it was a tough, tough thing that he was going through. But I learned because of Fred. I learned."
Trump’s most recent donation follows his campaign pledge to give away his entire $400,000 annual salary as president.
In the past, the president has also donated his salary to the National Parks Service, and to government departments including Education, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and Transportation.