POLITICS

Just 4 Of Trump's Mar-a-Lago Trips Cost Taxpayers $13 Million

That includes $60,000 paid directly to the resort Trump owns, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found.

President Donald Trump’s trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, are costing taxpayers millions of dollars, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report issued Tuesday.

The report largely focuses on four Mar-a-Lago trips Trump took between January and March of 2017 at a cost of $13.6 million in taxpayer dollars, which doesn’t include the salaries of government personnel traveling with him.

Here’s a breakdown of those expenses:

  • $8.5 million in costs to the Department of Defense, including more than $3 million in operating Air Force One and Marine Corps One for transporting Trump.

  • $5.1 million in costs to the Department of Homeland Security, including about $3.4 million to bolster the Coast Guard.

  • $18,000 in costs to the Department of Justice for transporting the attorney general, his FBI detail and other DOJ personnel.

  • $10,000 in costs to the Department of State, largely for interpreter support when Japan’s prime minister visited Trump at the resort. 

  • $60,000 in expenses paid directly to the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago for lodging and Secret Service operational purposes.

The breakdown doesn’t include reimbursement costs of meals and other incidental expenses for government employees, who are not required to submit receipts for any spending of less than $75.

President Donald Trump's love of golf and spending time at Mar-a-Lago is no cheap expense.
President Donald Trump's love of golf and spending time at Mar-a-Lago is no cheap expense.

Democrats pointed to these findings as evidence of gross misspending. 

“This alarming report captures a snapshot of the tens of millions of dollars President Trump spends to travel to his Palm Beach resort ― all at taxpayer expense ― including government funds that are paid directly to a business in which the president himself has a financial interest,” Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a joint statement raising ethical questions about Trump’s refusal to distance himself from his personal businesses. 

“This is part of a troubling pattern of wasteful spending and serious abuse of tax dollars by the administration,” they continued. “We will keep investigating this issue to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used effectively and appropriately.”

Trump’s inclination for spending time at his Florida resort and other getaways he owns has been well-documented, in part because Trump once consistently dogged former President Barack Obama as a “habitual vacationer” wasting taxpayer money. 

However, a watchdog group tracking Trump’s vacations found that he’s spent more than 150 days at golf courses since his inauguration. It became clear early on in Trump’s presidency that he would outspend Obama’s eight years of travel in office in just one year. 

Trump has not yet issued a response to the GAO report. 

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