Trump pledges $1 million personally for hurricane relief, White House says

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the crowd accompanied by first lady Melania Trump after receiving a briefing on Tropical Storm Harvey relief efforts at a local fire station in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S., August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the crowd accompanied by first lady Melania Trump after receiving a briefing on Tropical Storm Harvey relief efforts at a local fire station in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S., August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

President Donald Trump is pledging to donate $1 million toward hurricane disaster relief in Texas and Louisiana, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in the White House briefing room, Sanders was asked if Trump’s pledged money would come from his personal finances or another source, such as a private charitable foundation he founded or his real estate company.

“I know that the president, he said he was personally going to give,” Sanders said. “I don’t know the legal part of exactly that, but he said his personal money.”

Before taking office, Trump, a real estate baron and television personality, had a history of overstating his charitable giving and taking credit for donations that came from other sources, as documented in a series of stories last year in The Washington Post.

Sanders said the president has not settled on specific charities and wants to solicit advice from the media.

“He’s actually asked that I check with the folks in this room since you are very good at research and have been doing a lot of reporting into the groups and organizations that are best and most effective in helping and providing aid,” she said. “He’d like some suggestions from the folks here, and I’d be happy to take those if any of you have them.”

The announcement comes as Trump is planning a return visit Saturday to Texas, which was hardest hit by the deadly storm. Trump visited with elected officials and emergency responders in the state on Tuesday.

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Sanders said Trump tentatively plans to travel to the Houston area. On the same trip, he is also looking at surveying damage in around Lake Charles, Louisiana, Sanders said.

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