Donald Trump famously promised on the 2016 campaign trail that he would be too busy as president to ever leave the White House or go on vacation, but in just 100 days Trump has already cost taxpayers $20 million for trips to his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida — quickly approaching the $97 million in travel that Barack Obama spent over the entire eight years of his term.
Trump has been criticized for his frequent trips out of the White House and the increasing time spent at his luxury resort, which his administration has dubbed the “winter White House.” The trips — seven in all so far — require 1,000 miles of travel on Air Force One and Trump is accompanied by cargo planes carrying the presidential motorcade as well as deployment of security and Coast Guard off the Florida coast, the Independent reported.
Each trip is estimated to cost taxpayers $3.5 million in added security costs.
As the Independent report noted, Donald Trump has spent far more time on leisure trips that either of his predecessors.
“Since taking office, Mr Trump has spent half of his presidential weekends at his Florida resort, according to the New York Times. That schedule gave Mr Trump at least 25 days on private getaway heading into his final week, or at least a quarter of his time as president. That’s compared to the four days Mr Obama spent on private getaway and the 16 days of former President George W Bush, who was well known for his love of spending time at his Texas ranch.”
The report added that Obama spent a total of $97 million on personal travel during his eight years in office, a total Trump is on pace to break sometime in middle of next year.
While all presidents have spent time out of the White House — including George W. Bush, who famously worked from his ranch in Texas for long stretches — Trump has taken more criticism given his attacks on President Obama’s travel over the past eight years. Trump frequently criticized Obama on Twitter for what Trump deemed to be expensive and unnecessary trips.
“President Obama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars—-Unbelievable!” Trump tweeted in 2012.
Donald Trump’s frequent trips to Mar-A-Lago also go against his rhetoric on the campaign trail, when Trump frequently promised that he would be working too hard to ever take vacations.
“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.”
Trump appears to be conscious of the public perception of his travel and leisure trips, People magazine noted. After frequently criticizing Barack Obama’s golfing trips, Trump has taken great measures to keep his golfing trips secret from the public.
“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.
Trump has taken more than a dozen trips to the golf course in his first 100 days, while Obama did not golf at all during his first 100 days in office.
Donald Trump’s trips to Mar-A-Lago could be coming to an end soon. Reports indicate that Trump traditionally stops travel to his Florida resort with the onset of the region’s stifling summer heat, and he will instead be making leisure trips to a resort and golf club he owns in New Jersey.
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