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Tuesday, May 2, 2017
President Donald Trump has racked up an historic amount of travel expenses in his first 100 days in office, by far surpassing the president who came before him.
Mr Trump has made a point of repeatedly visiting his private Mar-a-Lago resort and golf course, which he and his administration have referred to as the “winter White House,” on the weekends.
Those Florida trips require a nearly 1,000 mile flight aboard Air Force One south from Washington. Joining the president on that journey are cargo planes carrying motorcade limousines, aircraft transporting staff for security sweeps, and the deployment of the Coast Guard in the waters near the resort.
All those expenses add up, especially considering a single flight hour on Air Force One alone costs taxpayers $180,000.
Estimates of Mr Trump’s costs have been made based on a similar trip former President Barack Obama took to Florida by way of Chicago. On that trip, in February 2013, Mr Obama visited Palm Beach, Florida — the city where Mar-a-Lago is — after a short stop in his home city. That trip cost a total of $3.6 million, according to a report from the US Government Accountability Office. Assuming that Mr Trump’s travels to Florida are about the same as that Obama trip — granted, it’s hard to say with any certainty that they are as costs change depending on specific travel requirements — the president has incurred roughly $25 million in expenses, according to a tally maintained by the American Progress Action Fund.
Since taking office, Mr Trump has spent half of his presidential weekends at his Florida resort, according to the New York Times. That schedule gave Mr Trump at least 25 days on private getaway heading into his final week, or at least a quarter of his time as president. That’s compared to the four days Mr Obama spent on private getaway and the 16 days of former President George W Bush, who was well known for his love of spending time at his Texas ranch.
Mr Trump’s costs of travel have been much higher than his predecessors. Mr Obama spent a total of roughly $97 million on personal travel expenses during his whole two terms in office