Donald Trump famously promised during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would by too busy to ever take a vacation, but now the president just spent his fifth weekend golfing and soaking up the sun at this exclusive Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida — trips that cost taxpayers $3.5 million each.
The president has used his exclusive resort as something of a working retreat, taking time to dine at his restaurant and meet with the resort’s members while also hosting state visitors and tweeting accusations against President Barack Obama. But while he may be getting some work done while in Florida, Trump is also racking up criticism for the expensive trips after his constant attacks on Obama for his travel costs.
This weekend was the fifth time that President Donald Trump flew down to Mar-A-Lago since his inauguration in January. The Guardian noted that these visits are quite expensive to taxpayers, with airfare and security costs plus the costs of keeping communications and medical staff on hand amounting to $3.5 million.
“President Obama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars—-Unbelievable!” Trump tweeted in 2012.
And the visits seem to contradict Donald Trump’s own promises on the campaign trail that he would never be taking a vacation.
Trump said on multiple occasions that he would be “too busy” to travel or go golfing as he claimed Obama did.
“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” Trump told a reporter in 2015 (via Think Progress). “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off… You don’t have time to take time off.”
The costs of Trump’s travel could already be massive, reports indicate. The Guardian noted that Donald Trump and his family might have a total travel cost more than Barack Obama — all eight years of his presidency.
“How is it possible? The complicated receipt involves weekend trips by Trump to Mar-a-Lago, his resort in Palm Beach, Florida; travel by his children and their government security details on Trump family business; and costs associated with protecting Trump’s Manhattan home, the high-rise Trump Tower building, where Trump’s wife and youngest child live but where the real estate mogul himself has not set foot since becoming president.”
That is not the only area where Trump might have already passed Obama. Donald Trump was particularly concerned with Barack Obama’s golfing habits. Like nearly all presidents before him, Obama enjoyed some time on the links with both friends and foreign visitors.
Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
But in his first six weeks as president, Donald Trump has already visited his two golf courses a total of six times, People magazine noted, and golfed at least three of the times he was there.
That’s a fact that Donald Trump has tried hard to hide, People added.
“The New York Times reported that ‘the White House goes to considerable lengths to keep Mr. Trump’s golf game away from scrutiny,’ which the newspaper said included sequestering reporters to keep them from seeing the president playing golf,” the report noted.
Donald Trump’s weekend trips to Mar-A-Lago are generating even more criticism given the president’s calls to slash the federal budget. He has proposed deep cuts to arts programs and the Environmental Protection Agency, while calling on government agencies to be more fiscally responsible.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]