Donald Trump has taken heat for the number of days and the amount of taxpayer money he has spent golfing, particularly after he repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for doing the same. This weekend, Trump added to the taxpayer golf tab after he hosted a Super Bowl party at his Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach, Florida that cost taxpayers $3.4 million.
According to HuffPost, the president was scheduled for two and a half hours at a Super Bowl viewing party. While Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said that the president was working while at the “Winter White House,” Trump wasn’t at Mar-a-Lago, he was at his Palm Beach club several miles away.
“The premise of your story is ridiculous and false, and just more left-wing media bias on display. The president never stops working, and that includes when he is at the Winter White House,” Grisham said.
HuffPost noted that Grisham’s assertion the president never stops working appears to be false. On Saturday, Trump attended a campaign event for “Trumpettes” at Mar-a-Lago, an event that was private. The president was not working at that time, as he wasn’t representing the government during the event.
The White House asserted that Trump did work when he had calls and meetings with his staff over the weekend.
Trump’s visit to Mar-a-Lago was his 28th stop to his property since taking office. Throughout his presidency, he has spent 79 days at Mar-a-Lago and a total of 244 days at his golf properties worldwide. All told, taxpayers have paid $130.4 million to pay for the president to visit and stay at his properties.
The president has faced criticism for continuing to make money off these properties while visiting them on the taxpayer dime.
Though he put his businesses in a trust before taking office, he is the sole beneficiary of that trust, so any money that his businesses make — including money from taxpayers — will be funneled directly to him. One source estimates that Trump has earned several million dollars from government employee costs at his resorts alone.
“Turns out the presidency is more like a thing he does on the side to help make money for his business,” said Jordan Libowitz of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
When asked about Trump’s decision to host a pricey Super Bowl party, Robert Weissman, president of the progressive group Public Citizen, joked that the president could have saved taxpayers money by bringing club members to Washington D.C.
“Well, obviously there are no TVs in the White House, so what alternative did he have?” he said. “He could have saved money by chartering a plane and flying club members to watch the game at the White House.”