President Donald Trump began a three-day golf weekend Friday, making his 16th visit to his New Jersey golf club since entering office and pushing his total travel and security costs for his hobby to $108.1 million.
The president’s Marine One helicopter touched down at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster around 12:45 p.m. Trump is not scheduled to return to the White House until Sunday, giving him three more golf days at his resort 45 miles west of New York City.
Heading into Friday, Trump had spent 60 days at his course in Northern Virginia, 59 days at Bedminster and 57 days at his resort in West Palm Beach. He has also visited his courses in Los Angeles; Doral, Florida; Jupiter, Florida; Scotland and Ireland ― all on the taxpayer dime.
Trump’s use of Air Force One, even the smaller version he used Friday, and Marine Corps helicopters both in Washington and New Jersey drive up costs to taxpayers, and the long weekend will add at least $1.1 million to his grand total, according to a HuffPost analysis.
While he was a reality TV host and then as a presidential candidate, Trump frequently pounded President Barack Obama for spending too much time on the golf course. Trump often told audiences he would be too busy to take any vacations, let alone play golf.
But since taking office, Trump has spent 187 days, counting Friday, on a course that he owns. (He has spent two additional days on courses in Japan at the invitation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during visits there.) That is two and a half times the number of days Obama had visited golf courses at the same point in his first term. And because Trump insists on playing at his own courses in Florida and New Jersey so much, his golf-associated costs to taxpayers are more than triple Obama’s figure through the same time period. Obama played the vast majority of his rounds at military bases within a short drive of the White House.
As is typical for Trump’s White House, his staff refused to confirm whether Trump is playing golf Friday at his golf resort. Indeed, the only times the White House has acknowledged that he played golf is when he played with a head of state, a celebrity or South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
In contrast, the staffs of Obama and former President George W. Bush routinely disclosed the presidents’ golf partners.