In 2013, Donald Trump took to Twitter to attack President Barack Obama for his plans to spend Christmas in Hawaii, bemoaning what it would mean for the Secret Service agents who had to follow Obama there. Now that he has become president, Trump’s view on Christmas vacations appears to have changed.
As the Palm Beach Post reported, Trump appears to have plans for a 16-day Christmas vacation at his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, one that stretches through Christmas and beyond New Year’s Day. The report noted that the Federal Aviation Administration has posted an alert that “there will be a VIP Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in the West Palm Beach, Florida region” that starts on December 21 and ends on January 6. This is the same notice that is usually posted when Trump is staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Donald Trump has not yet revealed his plans for Christmas, but others are reporting that he will be away from Washington. Atlantic reporter Elaina Plott wrote on Twitter that there is a “hold on Trump’s travel calendar” during that same time period, with no explanation as to where Trump will be during that span of time.
Trump also spent last Christmas at Mar-a-Lago, though he only stayed a little more than a week. This would be one of the longest vacations he has taken since assuming office, and comes after Trump spent years attacking Barack Obama for going on vacation. Trump had said frequently on the campaign trail that he would never take a vacation or go golfing — saying his duties as president would keep him too busy — but Trump has done both at a rate higher than nearly every other modern president.
Pres. Obama is about to embark on a 17 day vacation in his ‘native’ Hawaii, putting Secret Service away from families on Christmas. Aloha!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2013
Donald Trump’s vacation plans have also drawn criticism, given his attacks on the costs of the Russia investigation. As Citizens for Ethics noted, Trump’s own travel and vacation spending has surpassed what the Mueller investigation costs the government.
Trump is spending as much as 16 days at Mar-a-Lago this holiday season. The cost to taxpayers for his trips to Mar-a-Lago would pay for about 2 years of the Mueller investigation. pic.twitter.com/sRuLUfD9tU— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) December 18, 2018
And, as Quartz noted, the cost for Secret Service protection has risen under the Trump administration — mostly due to his larger family.
“Under the Trump administration, the Secret Service provides 24-hour protection to 42 people, 18 of whom are members of the Trump family,” the report noted. “Under president Obama, there were 31 full-time protectees. Congress passed a special bill at the end of 2017 to increase Secret Service overtime caps to accommodate the Trump family.”
Donald Trump has not yet officially announced his plans for the Christmas vacation.