President Trump reportedly suggested giving a substantial raise to Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after learning that he made over $4 million less than he initially thought, noting how many stars he had on his uniform.
The Washington Post reported on Sunday that White House chief of staff John Kelly asked Trump how much he thought Dunford earns.
Trump guessed $5 million, which startled Kelly.
The chief of staff informed Trump that Dunford made less than $200,000.
The Post notes, “The president suggested he get a large raise and noted the number of stars on his uniform.”
The anecdote was a part of a larger report on the president’s attempt to curb the federal deficit, even as he attempts to institute some policies that will increase federal spending.
Government debt has increased by roughly $2 trillion since Trump became president and the federal government now owes $21.7 trillion. The budget deficit also increased 17 percent in the 2018 fiscal year.
The Post also reported that Trump repeatedly instructed his former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn to print more money.
“He’d just say, run the presses, run the presses,” one former senior administration official said, describing Trump’s Oval Office orders. “Sometimes it seemed like he was joking, and sometimes it didn’t.”