Donald Trump, the candidate who promised never to take a vacation while in office, is now getting ready to embark on his third in as many weeks. And it’s not just any vacation that he’s taking; the billionaire former reality TV star-turned-White House resident is headed to his very own Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. And taxpayers will be paying the bill, much of it the cost of housing the Secret Service and other security at the private, members-only beachfront Trump property.
As AOL News reports, it’s estimated that this weekend’s Donald Trump vacation to what’s been dubbed (by Donald Trump) as the “Winter White House” could set taxpayers back a cool $3 million, including aviation costs and other expenses. And a none-too-small amount of that money will be going straight into the pockets of Donald Trump.
.@REALdonaldtrump's first month of trips and security costs are more than $15m, ???????????????????????????? ????/???????????? ???????? ???????????? ???? ???????????????????? ????????????????????! https://t.co/XNwsR0eC26— DiegoUK #Indivisible (@DiegoUK) February 17, 2017
After visiting a Boeing factory in South Carolina on Friday, Trump is expected to hitch a ride on Air Force One down to his Palm Beach oasis away from the real White House for a long President’s Day weekend breather. First Lady Melania Trump is expected to join her real estate mogul hubby from her residence at Trump Tower in New York, where she and 10-year-old son Barron have been living since the election.
When Melania Trump and Barron are not living it up with the new POTUS on one of his increasingly frequent (and expensive) Mar-a-Lago weekend getaways, the duo have made NYC’s Trump Tower their primary residence, forgoing White House living (at least until Barron is out of school for the summer), something that Bustle reports also costing taxpayers a fortune.
According to the media outlet, it costs taxpayers a whopping $500,000 per day to pay for the Trump family’s New York stays (mostly the cost of Secret Service and other security protection) when Donald Trump is in residence with his wife and son. It is estimated (though not with 100 percent certainty) that it costs roughly $300,000 per day just to protect Melania and Barron Trump, who have refused to live in the White House like a traditional first family.
If they stay in New York until the end of the school year, that’s $36 million out of the taxpayers’ pockets. If they were to hypothetically live at Trump Tower in New York every day for the rest of the calendar year, the wife and son of Donald Trump would cost taxpayers an additional $100 million in 2017 alone. And that’s money that is above and beyond what American citizens normally pay to protect their president’s and their families.
Trump family security "costing far beyond what has been typical for past presidents,could balloon to 100s of mils"https://t.co/4QH6wGqPGF— moonlit (@_moon__lit__) February 17, 2017
Because Melania Trump and company are staying at a Trump property, much of that money will find its way from the taxpayers’ wallets.
While Melania Trump is expected to travel from her highly secure Trump Tower home in New York to Mar-a-Largo in Florida this weekend (reportedly Melania’s favorite Trump property), two of Donald Trump’s sons have alternative plans.
Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are scheduled to make a trip to yet another Trump property on Saturday, this one in the United Arab Emirates, which is fully 8,000 miles away. Donald Trump’s sons will be in the UAE on family business, hoping to make some money for the Trumps by way of a grand opening visit to a new Trump golf resort in the country. Like Donald Trump in Florida and Melania in New York City, Eric and Donald Jr. will be taking the Secret Service with them to the Middle East. And the American Taxpayers will be footing the bill, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Last time Eric Trump went out of the country on Donald Trump business, he headed south to Uruguay. It cost the American public roughly $100,000 for Eric to promote a Trump-branded hotel (the bill for the Secret Service to stay in Uruguay hotel rooms was a whopping $88,320; the embassy support staff’s hotel rooms added $9,510 more); citing “national security,” the Trumps refused to give specific details about the Uruguay trip — even though it cost taxpayers dearly.
According to estimates, the luxurious, elaborate, non-traditional billionaire lifestyle enjoyed by the Trump family could cost taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars over a single four-year term. It goes nearly without saying that the Trump presidency is going to cost far more than presidencies past. In fact, the cost of additional New York City security costs for Melania and Barron alone reportedly exceeds the totality of the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts, something that the new POTUS is considering pulling the plug on.
“This is an expensive way to conduct business, and the president should recognize that.”
While specific details of Trump-related additional expenses are handled by multiple government agencies, such as the Security Department and Department of Homeland Security, and those agencies have been less than forthcoming with details, figures have been leaking. Others have been gathered from public-access government paperwork.
It has been estimated that the three Trump Florida trips to Mar-a-Largo since he was sworn in have cost as much as $10 million. Not to mention the additional funds Palm Beach County wants from Washington to cover the tens of thousands of dollars per day in costs it incurs every time Donald swings down that way.
“The unique thing about President Trump is that he knows what it costs to run a plane. Going down there ain’t free.”
Again, because of Trump’s business interests (which he’s said to have handed over control of but has also refused to divest from in their entirety), he’s possibly profiting from many of the additional security costs being paid out by taxpayers. Not to mention the brand marketing that comes from conducting presidential business from Trump properties.
And according to White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, Donald Trump is always “conducting business.” Even when he appears to be on vacation (and despite constantly criticizing former President Obama for his vacations), she claims Donald is working.
“He is not vacationing when he goes to Mar-a-Lago. The President works nonstop every day of the week, no matter where he is.”
What do you think? Is it appropriate the new POTUS and his family to cost taxpayers this much money?
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]