Donald Trump frequently railed against President Barack Obama for his golfing trips, attacking Obama on Twitter for what Trump called reckless spending and inattention to his job as president.
But now, with Trump about to start his fourth year as president, he is on pace to top Obama’s eight-year total for taxpayer-funded golf trips in just four years.
An analysis from The Huffington Post found that Trump has racked up more than $118 million in taxpayer costs for his golf trips, which have almost entirely come through properties owned by Trump. The report noted that Trump’s golf total is the equivalent of 296 years of his $400,000 salary, which Trump has bragged about not accepting and donates to charitable causes and government programs instead.
“And of that $118.3 million, at least several million has gone into Trump’s own cash registers, as Secret Service agents, White House staff and other administration officials stay and eat at his hotels and golf courses,” the report noted, adding that the exact total is difficult to calculate since the White House is tight-lipped about Trump’s golf trips, not revealing when he hits the links.
The report added that at the same point in Obama’s presidency, he had spent 88 days on the golf course. In that same time, Trump has gone golfing 227 times, all on courses that he owns and profits from and frequently at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Obama took most of his golf trips on courses on military bases that were a short drive from the White House.
While all recent presidents have spent considerable time on the golf course, Trump has taken extra criticism given his history of railing against Obama for golfing and his promises on the 2016 campaign trail that he would not have time for any golfing if he won the presidency. Trump repeatedly claimed that he would give up his famous golf habit if he took over the White House, but has failed to do so during his three years in office.
Critics have also pointed out that because Trump refused to divest from his company as past presidents have, he directly profits from his own trips to the golf course and benefits his own course. Others have mocked Trump’s apparent tendency to lie about his golf performances, including a recent score posted with the U.S. Golf Association’s handicap service claiming that Trump shot a 68 during a round, which would have been lower than what Tiger Woods shot at the opening round of the PGA tournament that same week.