Donald Trump’s travel to his private club in Florida has cost over an estimated $20 million in his first 80 days as president, putting the president on pace in his first year of office to surpass former President Barack Obama’s spending on travel for his entire eight years.
The outsized spending on travel stands in stark relief to Trump’s calls for belt tightening across the federal government and the fact that he regularly criticized Obama for costing the American taxpayer money every time he took a trip.
Given variations in each trip, estimating the security costs around a presidential trip is difficult. But a 2016 Government Accountability Office report about a four-day trip Obama took to Florida in 2013 — one similar to Trump’s trips — found the total cost to the Secret Service and Coast Guard was $3.6 million.
To date, Trump has spent six weekends — and a total of 21 days — at Mar-A-Lago, his private Palm Beach club. The total estimated costs for those trips are around $21.6 million.
Obama, by contrast, spent just under $97 million on travel in his eight years as president, according to documents reviewed by Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog. These trips included personal trips – including ski trips to Aspen and the Obama’s annual family vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts — and work trips, like a visit to Everglades National Park on Earth Day in 2015.
Trump’s frequent weekend travel makes it all but certain the 45th President will surpass Obama’s spending in his first term, likely within months.