Trump Donates $100,000 To Alcoholism Research

By Lindsey Weedston 02/01/19

The president committed to donating his annual $400,000 salary to worthy causes as part of his 2016 campaign.

Donald Trump announcing donating salary to
Photo via Flickr/Gage Skidmore

President Donald Trump has donated $100,000 to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a federal agency and branch of the National Institutes of Health.

The $100,000 comes from his $400,000 yearly salary as president, which he promised to donate to worthy causes as part of his 2016 campaign. He has so far given away $100,00 each quarter to government departments including Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration, and the National Park Service.

Alcoholism has touched the president personally. His brother, Fred Trump Jr., died from complications related to alcoholism in 1981 at the age of 43. According to Donald Trump, Fred advised him to never drink, and the president has repeatedly expressed his distaste for alcohol and drinking.

Following the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings to examine the sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Trump expressed that he did not share Kavanaugh’s passion for beer.

“I don’t drink beer,” Trump told reporters. “I’ve never had a beer. And I’m not saying good or bad, some people like it. I just choose not to do that for a lot of reasons.”

An individual “close to the White House” also told The Washington Post that the president “doesn’t like drinkers.” Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump’s memoir The Art of the Deal, has said that the main reason the president avoids alcohol is a fear of losing control.

“One of the primary reasons I think Trump avoided alcohol was that he never wanted to be out of control,” said Schwartz. “It made him feel weak and vulnerable in any circumstance where he felt that was the risk.”

Alcohol is known to lower inhibitions when consumed to intoxication.

On the other hand, Tim O’Brien, author of TrumpNation, believed that Fred Trump’s alcoholism and early death had a significant effect on the president and his aversion to drinking.

“I think he’s scared of the effects alcohol can have on people because he witnessed firsthand how it destroyed his brother’s life, and I think he’s a teetotaler because he’s scared of it in himself,” said O’Brien. 

“I think Freddy’s journey sparks fear in the president, and it’s a tragedy in their family’s history, and both of those things make him very uncomfortable around people with a drinking problem.”

According to the NIAAA, 15.1 million adults in the U.S. had alcohol use disorder in 2015, and there are 88,000 alcohol-related deaths yearly. Alcohol use and misuse is one of the leading causes of preventable death.

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Lindsey Weedston is a Seattle area writer focused on mental health and addiction, politics, human rights, and various social issues. Her work has appeared in The Establishment, Ravishly, ThinkProgress, Little Things, Yes! Magazine, and others. You can find her daily writings at Twitter: