Donald Trump has been in the office for just a month and has cost taxpayers almost $10 million in travel expenses. New York Police Department estimates the expenditure of around $500,000 per day to secure the Trump Towers, where the first lady is still living. If this trend continues, the bill could be more than $300 million for the first year itself.
According to the Washington Post, the cost of President Trump’s trips is calculated from an October 2016 Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimate of presidential travel costs to Florida that includes only the expenses that are linked with his three trips to Mar-a-Lago.
Between Secret Service and police surrounding the estate, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard in the surrounding waters, Mar-a-Lago is indeed a second White House. At this moment, the White House has not disclosed the exact cost of Donald Trump’s frequent visit to the place, but according to CBS News, the $10 million estimate is based on figures from a similar trip by former President Barack Obama back in 2013.
CBS News also noted that president’s Air Force One costs more than $180,000 per hour to operate. In simple words, a four-hour roundtrip flight to Mar-a-Lago costs more than $700,000.
“If he’s going down there every weekend, the costs are going to add up pretty quickly,” said Tom Fitton, the president of the watchdog group Judicial Watch. “He doesn’t need to go to Florida every weekend. He can work at the White House or up at Camp David.”
— reema rasool (@reemarasool) February 22, 2017
By comparison, Barack Obama’s travel expenses averaged only $12.1 million per year for his eight years of presidency. In total, Obama’s eight-year travel bill came to $97 million. If Donald Trump continues at the current pace, then there are chances that he will outspend Obama in less than one year.
“The elaborate lifestyle of America’s first family is straining the Secret Service and security officials, stirring financial and logistical concerns in several local communities, and costing far beyond what has been typical for previous presidents,” reads the report from the Washington Post.
The interesting thing to note here is that before Mr. Trump became America’s president, he openly criticized Barack Obama’s travel expenses via his Twitter account.
Why is @BarackObama always campaigning or on vacation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2011
On the other hand, his frequent trips are also welcomed by the locals as it helps them in growing their market. Ed Kassatly, who owns a boutique in the Worth Avenue shopping district stated that Donald Trump will bring more high-end visitors to the community and “is definitely going to help everyone on a high economic scale.”
Meanwhile, his latest trip to Mar-a-Lago has also been under observation by major publication houses for all the wrong reasons. According to the Independent, Donald Trump tweeted about his meeting with senior military figures at the Mar-a-Lago resort. The president later deleted the tweet, and according to some legal experts, he might have violated the Presidential Records Act.
According to the publication, the president posted a message on his official Twitter, writing, “Meeting with Generals at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Very interesting!”
The message from the president got a lot of coverage among his followers before it was deleted from his social media handle.
— Kathleen Smith (@KikkiPlanet) February 20, 2017
The Presidential Records Act of 1978, 44 U.S.C., states that the official records of presidents and vice presidents created or received after January 20, 1981, and mandating the preservation of all the records and statements by the president and the vice-president.
The Independent noted that according to some legal experts, the deletion of messages that are made by the president is illegal, as it violates the Presidential Records Act. The publication also addressed how former President Barack Obama’s team occasionally deleted the tweets but archived each and every one of them to avoid breaking the law. It is unknown if the current president is also archiving his messages.
What do you think of Donald Trump’s expensive trips? Sound off your views in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]