[The title of this article was updated due to an error] President Trump has started calling his Mar-a-Lago resort the “Winter White House,” but judging by his travel habits, the Florida estate will most likely be a year-round destination, and it’s already cost taxpayers a sh*tload of money.
This past weekend marked the 7th time Trump has spirited away to the resort since his inauguration on January 20, with each trip costing taxpayers an estimated $3 million. According to the progressive advocacy group Public Citizen, Trump’s weekend getaways have already cost taxpayers upwards of $21 million.
That number doesn’t even take into account the security costs for keeping First Lady Melania Trump and his son Barron safe, who will continue living in New York City until at least September. According to the NYPD, it costs up to $146,000 a day to protect the First Family.
In contrast, President Obama’s travel was estimated to have cost taxpayers somewhere between $85 million-$96 million… Taking the highest estimate into account, that would translate into $12 million per year.
At that pace, Trump will spend $60 million is taxpayer funds to visit Mar-a-Lago just this year. The Washington Post reports that Trump has visited one of his name-branded properties 28 days out of his young presidency, “meaning that he visits a property that’s part of his private business empire more than one-third of the days he’s been in office, or once every 2.8 days.”
“The president’s recurrent trips to Mar-a-Lago and other properties he owns, particularly with leaders that make the visits newsworthy, means he is in effect using the presidency to promote his business,” ethics lawyer and law professor at Washington University Kathleen Clark. “He’s a very effective marketer, and he’s using the presidency as though it’s just part of him being famous and doesn’t come with other moral, if not legal, obligations.”
The Government Accountability Office has announced that it will begin looking into Trump’s travel costs.