After racking up an estimated $22 million travel tab in less than three months, Donald Trump is well on his way to spending more in a single year than Barack Obama spent on travel during all eight years of his presidency.
Trump has spent 21 days of his 80-day presidency at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, at an estimated cost of $21.6 million in travel and security expenses, CNN reported. In contrast, Obama spent a total of just under $97 million during his entire presidency, according to costs estimated by Judicial Watch.
At Trump’s current pace, he will spend $99 million by the end of his first year in office. That would add up to close to $800 million if he served an eight-year term as Obama did.
It’s not clear if Trump will continue his frequent trips to the Florida resort as the temperatures rise. Earlier this month, however, he changed his nickname for Mar-a-Lago from the “Winter White House” to the “Southern White House,” signaling that his trips down south wouldn’t be confined to the winter months.
Trump’s frequent visits to South Florida have also taken a toll on the area. Last month, Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) asked Trump to help pay for the extra security his visits require, a service that has already cost the community $1.7 million.
“Please step up to the plate and help us get this money back,’” said Frankel, per WPBF. “And if you’re unable to do that, consider curtailing your travel.”
She suggested Camp David as an alternative.
Florida lawmakers have also suggested imposing special taxes on Mar-a-Lago to help defray costs. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw estimated that Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping cost the community $250,000 in police overtime.
Taxpayers are also footing the bill for a second presidential residence at Trump Tower in Manhattan, where first lady Melania and son Baron reside. NYPD officials estimated that they spend $500,000 a day on security, CNBC reported.
Trump’s inflated travel expenditures have become a particularly touchy subject, given the extensive budget cuts he has proposed. Voters and politicians have even started comparing Mar-a-Lago costs to federal funds that could save a program destined for the chopping block.
Trump has often boasted that he doesn’t need vacations and prefers to work. He even blasted Obama’s golfing in tweets some 26 times, and at campaign rallies.
Security issues at Mar-a-Lago, which lacks the same protections and visitor vetting as the White House, have also raised concerns. In March, the Government Accountability Office agreed to examine the costs and security issues surrounding Trump’s frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago.
Some critics claim that Trump’s frequent trips away from the White House serve to keep his activities far from the public eye. According to Politico, the president was seen chatting with the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, at the resort last weekend.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place