Melania Trump has been skewered for costing taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money for staying at Trump Tower in New York City after her husband’s inauguration. The price for protecting the first lady and first son, Barron, was estimated to be about $147,000 per day. Melania and Barron moved into the White House on June 14 and are now semi-permanent residents at 1600 Pennsylvania during Donald Trump’s term as president.
According to a report published by a private organization that tracks government spending, Open the Books reveals that Melania Trump has saved more money with her staff than Michelle Obama did as the first lady. Melania has 19 fewer staffers dedicated to her office than Michelle did in the White House. Mrs. Trump has five staffers versus the 24 staffers who served Michelle Obama, the FY2009 budget shows. Former First Lady Laura Bush had 18 staffers.
Who makes up Melania Trump’s five-member White House staff? Forbes reports that they include Lindsay Reynolds, Chief of Staff to the First Lady ($179,700 annual salary); Director of Communications Stephanie Grisham ($115,000 annual salary); Social Secretary Anna Niceta ($115,000 annual salary); Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations Timothy Tripepi ($115,000 annual salary); and Deputy Director of Advance Mary-Kathryn Fisher ($77,000 annual salary).
Michelle Obama was under fire for employing numerous staffers, including schedulers, directors, planners, associates, social and press secretaries, and other assistants.
President Trump’s “leaner White House payroll,” as reported by Forbes, is saving taxpayers $22 million overall. This information is verified by the fact that the current salaries for White House employees was made public on Friday. Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner are taking a total salary of zero dollars.
There’s a $5.1 million in payroll savings for the Trump administration versus the Obama FY2015 payroll. In 2017, the Trump administration payroll tallies to $35.8 million for 377 employees compared to the Obama payroll calculated at $40.9 million for 476 employees (FY2015). The Trump administration has also employed 110 fewer staffers than Obama’s administration.
Despite the “leaner payroll” within the Trump administration, the president is accused of more than making up for that with the frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago, where he’s seen golfing. Trump has defended the criticism by saying he’s on the clock while at Mar-a-Lago conducting business, but using Air Force One and blocking traffic around business areas in Palm Beach, Florida, while his motorcade is in town hasn’t gone over well with some American citizens.
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