Trump White House, Obama White House Compared-Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Comparisons between the size and pay of White House staff under President Trump and President Obama began circulating in July 2017, shortly after Trump released information on all 377 White House employees.
Claims made about the Trump White House and Obama White House in July 2017 are a combination of truth and fiction.
It’s true that Trump employed about 100 fewer employees and had a payroll of about $5 million less than Obama. However, claims about the number of personal attendants assigned to Michelle Obama and Melania Trump are incorrect.
These rumors began circulating in a post on discussion forums and social media from an unknown author, and we’ll take a look at each particular claim.
Trump White House/Obama White House Staff Sizes, Salaries-Truth!
Claims that the Trump White House had 110 fewer employees than the Obama White House at the six-month mark are true. But the claims that Trump spent $5 million less on payroll is somewhat misleading because its compares Trump’s first year in office (2017) to Obama’s last year (2016).
The Trump White House had 377 employees by July 2017 compared to the Obama White House’s 487 staffer’s in July 2009. And Trump’s payroll came in at $35.8 million, compared to the $40.9 million payroll of the Obama White House in its last year.
We’re calling this one “true” because the central claim that Trump had 110 fewer employees and paid $5 million less in payroll check out.
Melania Obama Has Five Staffers Compared to Michelle Obama’s 24-Fiction!
Rumors about the size of Michelle Obama’s staff persisted throughout the Obama’s eight years in office, and we’ve found claims that the former first lady’s staff was much larger than other first ladies to be false.
The rumor we previously investigated that the size of Michelle Obama’s staff in July 2009 (the same time period in question in the new rumor) was 22 compared to Hillary Clinton’s three staffers.
First, the list released by the White House didn’t specify if staffers worked for the president or first lady, and the rumor (falsely) assumed that all 22 of them listed worked for Michelle Obama.
Second, even if Michelle Obama had 22 staffers, it wouldn’t have been far off from previous staff sizes. A White House Museum page states that Hillary Clinton had 20 staffers and an additional 15 interns. Photos of Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush posted on the page show them posing in various photos with comparable staff sizes.
So, while it’s hard to tell how large Melania Trump’s staff was compared to Michelle Obama’s — earlier claims that Obama’s staff was bloated don’t ring true.
Trump Donated His $400,000 Presidential Salary to the National Park Service-Truth! & Fiction!
It’s true that President Trump donated his first quarter presidential salary to the National Park Service to support historic battlefield sites. However, the president’s first quarter salary was $78,0000 — not $400,000, as the rumor claimed.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the president’s first donation in an April 3rd White House Press Briefing:
The President has spoken with Counsel and made the decision to donate his first-quarter salary, in total, to a government entity, and he has chosen this quarter to donate it to the National Park Service. The Park Service has cared for our parks since 1916, and the President is personally proud to contribute the first quarter of his salary to the important mission of the Park Service, which is preserving our country’s national security.
So it is my pleasure, on behalf of the President of the United States, to present a check for $78,333 to the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, and Superintendent of the Harper’s Ferry Park site, Superintendent Brandyburg.
It’s assumed that the president will choose different causes to donate presidential paychecks from subsequent quarters to, but no information had been made available about the president’s second paycheck at the time of publication.