The Donald Trump administration spent nearly $1 million in taxpayer funds on limousine rentals for the president’s two-day visit to Ireland. The White House reportedly rented four Mercedes E-Class limos from an Irish funeral home called JP Ward & Sons at the rate of $233,748 per vehicle.
According to a report from The Guardian, the Trump administration spent millions of dollars for the president’s state visit to the United Kingdom, drawing criticism about the White House’s spending habits. At least $1.2 million was spent for rooms at the InterContinental Hotel Park Lane, a hotel that is known for its ties to members of the royal family of Qatar.
Nearly $340,000 went to rooms at the Hilton on Park Lane and $150,000 for rooms at the InterContinental. Nearly $20,000 was spent on “hotel rooms in support of a VIP visit” and $47,000 for a generator.
No word on what the limo rentals are planned for since the president’s schedule at this point calls for a majority of travel via helicopter. The president’s plans in Ireland include flying into the Shannon airport on Wednesday where he will meet Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar and then fly in a helicopter to his golf resort. The next day, he plans to fly to Normandy for a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day and then back to his golf course for a round of golf. On Friday, he returns to the United States.
If the president decides to visit the local village called Doonbeg near his golf course, it is an eight-mile round trip. If all four limousines make the trip, it would cost $116,879 per mile for the four vehicles alone. That doesn’t factor in the bill for the rest of his entourage.
The village of Doonbeg is hoping that the president comes past. Unlike many areas of the country, which are protesting Trump’s visit, the village of 262 people is excited to see their famous neighbor, according to The Guardian.
“The people are 99.9% behind him,” said the local parish priest. “There’s no one else doing for us what he’s doing.”
Another local who runs a trucking company said that Trump is the largest employer in the area.
“He’s the biggest employer in west Clare,” said Martin Kelly. “He has done a brilliant job. He’s keeping west Clare going. Doonbeg would be a different place if he wasn’t here.”
Trump isn’t the first president to use JP Ward & Sons. In 2013, the Obama family, including Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia, rode around Dublin in cars provided by the company for the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. At that time, the cost came to just $114,000.