Monday 26 June 2017

Trump family trips cost taxpayers $11.3m in one month – almost as much as Obama’s cost in a year

Jaunts to estate in Mar-a-Lago, and secret service charges for his son's business trips across the globe, are costing American taxpayers

President Donald Trump, second from right, and first lady Melania Trump, right, stop to pose for a photo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second from left, and his wife Akie Abe, left, before they have dinner at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump, second from right, and first lady Melania Trump, right, stop to pose for a photo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second from left, and his wife Akie Abe, left, before they have dinner at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Peter Walker

Donald Trump’s family trips have cost taxpayers nearly as much in a month as Barack Obama’s cost in an entire year.

The US President’s three visits to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida since his presidential inauguration, combined with his sons’ business trips, reportedly cost $11.3m (€10.64m).

Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch estimated Mr Obama’s travel expenses totalled an average $12.1m in each of his eight years in the White House.

“This is an expensive way to conduct business, and the President should recognise that,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton, speaking to the Washington Post.

“The unique thing about President Trump is that he knows what it costs to run a plane.

“Going down [to Mar-a-Lago] ain’t free.”

The three Mar-a-Lago trips in Palm Beach cost the federal treasury around $10m, based on figures used in an October government report analysing White House travel.

This includes cash for coast guards to patrol the exposed shoreline.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw also says it has cost local taxpayers $360,000 in police overtime for his three weekends in Florida since 20 January.

The Post also revealed it cost $88,320 to put secret service agents up in a hotel while son Eric Trump visited Uruguay to promote a Trump-brand condo tower.

Records show it cost $5,470 to put up secret service officials at the AlSol Del Mar hotel in the Dominican Republic, as they scoped out the area, ahead of a similar visit by Eric Trump.

The same records show more than $16,000 has been spent on secret service hotel bills for his two sons’ visit for a grand opening of a Trump-brand golf resort in Dubai.


The 70-year-old leader of the free world repeatedly criticised Mr Obama for his taxpayer-funded travel during his tenure.

He tweeted in January 2012: “President @BarackObama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars----Unbelievable!”

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