Donald Trump is close to hitting a major milestone that has social media buzzing — the $100 million mark for taxpayer funding spent on his golf trips.
The president has taken plenty of heat for both his frequent trips to the golf course and for the costs involved. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump frequently told voters that he would be too busy to go golfing if he were president. Since taking office, he has hit the links at a rate much higher than Barack Obama — a man who Trump frequently attacked for his golf trips.
Trump’s golfing habit has even inspired a website that tracks his golf trips and the costs involved. The site, called Trump Golf Count, notes that the taxpayer costs for his trips were just a shade under $100 million going into the weekend, which was before Trump went golfing on Saturday during his near-weekly visit to his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
This weekend’s golf trips would likely be enough to put Trump over the $100 million mark. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that each of Trump’s golf trips cost taxpayers close to $3.4 million, with most of the costs coming in the form of travel and security costs. Because Trump chooses to golf at his company’s course, many of the costs — like golf cart rentals — end up going back into Trump’s pocket, critics point out. The GAO report found that for four golf trips, the Mar-a-Lago resort was paid a total of $600,000.
EARLIER: President Trump's motorcade arrives at Trump International Golf Course. pic.twitter.com/hFtje788Ij— The Hill (@thehill) March 30, 2019
Donald Trump’s golf trips earned another round of viral interest this weekend, after an excerpt from a new book detailed allegations that Trump is a cheat on the golf course. Sportswriter Rick Reilly explored the president’s relationship with golf in the book Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump. As the New York Post noted, the book explored allegations that Trump lies about his scores, how he uses his caddy to “find” lost balls that just happen to turn up in advantageous places, and his questionable handicap.
As the book noted, Trump claims his handicap is a 2.8 — a lower handicap means the player is much better. Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, for example, has a handicap of a 3.4.
“If Trump is a 2.8,” writes Reilly, “Queen Elizabeth is a pole vaulter.”
Donald Trump has not seemed to be deterred from the criticisms over his frequent golf trips or the costs involved. Outside of the time during the government shutdown — where he abstained from golfing — he has hit the links at the same rate he did since the start of his presidency.