Donald Trump’s frequent trips to the golf course have cost taxpayers $102 million so far, including a $3 million tab for one golf trip alone, HuffPost reports. His golfing tab is three times what Barack Obama’s was at this point in his presidency.
Using figures made available by the Government Accountability Office, HuffPost worked out the price of Trump’s golf trips, and the numbers are staggering.
Even golf trips that are comparatively close to Washington, such as to Trump-owned courses in New Jersey, cost about a million each: Taxpayers have had to cover the $17 million cost of 15 trips to New Jersey. But it’s when he’s playing away from Washington that the costs really start adding up.
Trump’s favorite place to golf is his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. To get there requires flying three Marine Corps helicopters to nearby Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where the presidential aircraft Air Force One is parked in a hangar. Just getting to Maryland alone costs taxpayers $57,000. Then, there’s flying Air Force One to Florida, plus cargo planes to carry Trump’s limos and other security equipment. All told, a trip to Mar-a-Lago costs taxpayers $800,500 in aircraft costs alone; and that’s saying nothing of the cost of the Coast Guard patrolling the ocean whenever Trump is playing golf nearby. That costs $855,500 per trip. All told, taxpayers have paid $81 million for the president’s two dozen trips to Mar-a Lago.
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) May 17, 2019
But when Trump plays golf in properties he owns overseas, the price skyrockets. When he made his state visit to the United Kingdom last year, Trump played a few holes at his Turnberry course in Scotland. The cost of transporting Trump’s staff, motorcade, and equipment wound up costing U.S. taxpayers $3 million.
This year, Trump is planning to make an unofficial visit to Ireland so he can play a few holes at a course he owns there. It marks the first time that a U.S. president has visited a foreign country specifically to play golf.
Robert Weissman, president of the government watchdog group Public Citizen, didn’t think that Trump’s golfing was the best use of taxpayer money.
“It’s obviously an incredible waste of money. Of course, the more time he spends golfing, the less time he spends governing, the better.”
However, North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows called the nine-digit golf tab a “rounding error.”
“There’s a lot more important things to worry about than the rounding errors that we sometimes have on these things.”
Trump promised during his campaign that he would not play golf during his presidency, saying that he would stay in the White House and “work [his] a** off.”