The non-profit conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch – which describes its mission as ensuring politicians and judges don’t abuse their power – first focused on President Clinton and then President Obama.
Now, the group, whose motto is “because no one is above the law,” is busy tracking the record amounts of money being spent by President Trump and his family at the government’s expense.
The latest documents obtained using a Freedom of Information (FOI) request cover Trump’s personal travel from June 30 through November 21 for trips to his golf clubs and resorts in Bedminster, New Jersey, Florida and New York, as well as campaign rallies.
The total cost for eight separate trips is $3,100,188, which they say brings the total cost of his travel so far as president to $13,533,937.
That covers the $15,509,228 per hour cost to operate Air Force One, but not the cost of the plane itself. It also does not include the cost of the Secret Service protection provided to Trump, which Judicial Watch reports it is still trying to determine for the same period.
Newsweek reported, however, that just the cost for the Secret Service to rent lights, generators, tables and tents for Trump’s New Year’s Eve party at Mar-A-Lago was $26,457.28.
Trump’s most expensive trip during the period tracked, reports Judicial Wath was his August 22 jaunt to Yuma, Arizona, where he met with some Marines and then held a campaign rally. He flew for 10.6 hours at $142,380 per hour for a total of $1,509,228.
When Trump was a candidate, he criticized President Obama for being away from the White House too often, especially to play golf. Since becoming president, Trump has traveled a lot more than Obama and has played way more than the former president.
In August, Mark Knoller of CBS News added up the travel until then and found Trump had made seven visits to Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, four visits to his golf club in New Jersey and one trip to Camp David, covering all or some of 41 days.
By comparison, President Obama had made one trip to Chicago and eight to Camp David, over 21 days.
While President George W. Bush, in a comparable period, made six visits to Texas, 13 to Camp David, and one to Maine, for 67 days.
Judicial Watch previously reported President Obama spent $882,756 on travel during his last year in office, according to The Hill. By any measure, the Obamas spent far less government money on travel than the Trump’s.
Judicial Watch says Obama over his eight years spent $114,691, 322.17. Trump has spent by their calculation $13,533,937.28 through part of November, his 10th month in office.
These figures do not include trips by the Trump children which were paid for by the government or the cost of Secret Service for his children, which according to previous reports has already busted the annual budget for the security agency.
As president, Trump has mixed his official duties, his campaign trips (remember he is already officially running for president in 2020) and his personal leisure activities in a way that is on track to make him the costliest president in American history.
For most of us what he has done does not seem worth the cost, but unfortunate, y there is no chance of getting a rebate.