The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.

Western Courier

Trump may continue lying streak

Brad Basala, Courier Staff

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Back in the days (not so long ago) where I sang the praises of President Donald Trump, I remember hearing during Trump’s campaign that he would donate his presidential salary. This instilled hope into my narrow mind, as it was a step in the right direction after months of second guessing myself about my support for his presidency. “He’s a billionaire,” I said. “There is no need for him to take that money.”

Now, only five months after he had won the election, I’m beginning to wonder if this is one of the many promises he has yet to deliver on. While his “donation” is admirable to the supporters who would point to this as a symbol of his altruistic and caring nature, it has devolved to the same degree as a lot of his promises, shrouded in ambiguity and half-truths, given that the majority of Trump’s statements rated by the non-partisan fact-checking group Politifact are false. Despite the claims of not taking the salary, even though he is constitutionally obligated to take it, he has consistently deflected any questions about which charity he would donate to.

“I will only take $1 a year,” has quickly turned into official, “We are not releasing that information at this time” White House statements. We are now three paychecks into his term, to the tune of $33,333 a month, with no word from him or the White House in general about where this money is going.

This leads me to believe that Trump is essentially Scrooge McDuck incarnate, meaning that all he cares about is his brand and lining his pockets with vast sums of money, regardless of the source. It hurts to see so many of my fellow conservatives falling behind a man who preaches about the values of trimming the fat of government, all while lining his pockets with taxpayer money.

This also extends to his promises to “not take any vacations.” And regardless of what side of the aisle you fall on, you must admit that this is easily the most egregious of his offenses given his history of criticizing President Barack Obama for going golfing. According to The New York Times, since Trump has taken office, he has gone to Mar-A-Lago (or another Trump property) every weekend, once again costing taxpayers $2 to 3 million per visit. At this point I hope that he is at least shrinking the size of his handicap with all of the time spent on the links.

Furthering this point, his wife Melania, whom I feel bad for being married to Trump, is living the sweet life in Trump Tower. Not only is it extremely unorthodox to have the first lady living separate from the president, since no First Lady since 1841 has lived outside the White House, but it costs a fortune to provide her — and other members of the Trump clan — with constant security. Granted, there have been claims that come June, the baroness Trump will be moving in with her husband into the White House.

This type of behavior has been excused and forgiven too long. Conservatives have long been a value-based party, and I ask you: Where have your values gone that you are accepting of this. From here on out, when you hear Trump make a bold claim, I want you to say out loud, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” and see if his words become action.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Trump may continue lying streak