Reports of lavish trips and pricey New York City pads have dominated most of President Donald Trump's short time as America's leader thus far. Having held office for almost 100 days, several sources claim the multibillionaire has spent almost as much time away from the White House as he has in it. His wife, Melania, also seems to prefer being away from D.C., with reports indicating she spends the majority of her time tucked away in a plush NYC triplex. Even the president's jet-setting children, it seems, are rarely in one place for a considerable amount of time. With the unusual amount of travel the new first family seems to enjoy, many Americans are beginning to wonder just how much all of this costs.
So, really, how much money is America spending on Trump?
A CNBC report states that the leader of the free world has frequented his mansion in Mar-a-Lago a whopping seven times since his inauguration, and although sources claim the 70-year-old does get quite a bit of work done there, each trip runs somewhere around $3 million. This cost estimate includes an appraisal of services provided by the Secret Service and other essential personnel, as well as things the average citizen wouldn't think of -- like the cost of deploying Coast Guard units to patrol the shoreline every time the working quarters of the president's office move.
In regard to his better half, records indicate First Lady Melania Trump may be even more expensive than her husband: it costs a whopping $500,000 a day to accommodate the former model in New York City. In fact, experts indicate that if Mrs. Trump continues to reside in the city, the government will have to shell out $183 million a year on her behalf for security alone.
On top of the couple's expenses, reports indicate that some of President Trump's children cost a pretty penny as well. In fact, a trip that Eric Trump took in mid-February to promote a new condo cost the U.S. embassy approximately $100,000 -- and that was just in hotel fees.
Critics of the Trump family's seemingly lavish lifestyle indicate the commander-in-chief is setting a dangerous precedent for future presidents. Tom Fitton, the president and spokesperson of the Judicial Watch group, says it's "an expensive way to conduct business," adding that the president should recognize his excessiveness and reel himself in.
Other critics claim that even when the president isn't spending money on himself, the company he keeps is expensive in its own right. Just a few weeks ago, Trump hosted Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe at his Mar-a-Lago residence for nothing more than dinner and a chat. Frequently having notable figures around drastically increases the need for additional security, which in turn ratchets up expenses.
Ironically, several reports indicate that for all the money he's costing taxpayers, the billionaire businessman is actually generating additional income for himself via his administration's atypical expenditures. The security detail that is now renting space in Trump Tower, for example, is allegedly shelling out an estimated $1.5 million a year for the premier real estate -- though, with Melania Trump's refusal to move elsewhere, they really haven't a choice.
Sources indicate these claims of incessant spending by Trump and his family don't line up with the current president's early campaign positions. The New York native openly condemned Obama for being what he called a "habitual vacationer," and even said that, when he assumed office, he "would rarely leave the White House because there's so much work to do." But Obama's total taxpayer cost of $97 million for all eight years of his presidency pales in comparison to what analysts predict will be "several hundreds of millions" of dollars by the time President Trump steps down.
As long as Trump and his family continue their spending habits, taxpayers will have no choice but to indulge them.
[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]