First lady Melania Trump’s decision to live outside of the White House, and fly to wherever her husband, President Donald Trump, was traveling to, cost American taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Military records obtained by the Wall Street Journal show that the first lady traveled at least 21 times using Air Force jets. In total, her travels cost more than $675,000 to conduct.
The flights occurred between New York, where she and son, Barron Trump, lived; Washington D.C.; and Florida, where the Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is located. The flight logs obtained by the Journal detail travel only from President Donald Trump’s inauguration to April 2017.
More excessive flights conducted by Melania Trump are likely to have occurred at taxpayers' expense; the first lady and her son didn’t move into the White House until June 2017.
In addition to her extraneous travels, Melania Trump’s decision to live in New York also cost taxpayers millions of dollars on its own, requiring security detail at Trump Tower. Tens of millions of taxpayer dollars were spent on security from the time the president was elected to his inauguration, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in security were spent every day after, when Melania Trump and her son resided in New York.
The government hasn’t just footed the bill for Trump’s wife and youngest son — the president himself has used his position to pay for his own extravagant travels, costing local and federal governments millions of dollars every time he visits Mar-a-Lago, for example.
It’s widely understood that accommodations for the president and his family must be made. Their security ensures that his mind remains on task, so that he doesn’t have to worry about their safety while he tends to national governance.
But this president and his family are taking that entitlement to greater excesses than were intended. Trump’s wife should have moved into the White House at the start of his term. And subsequent travels and golf outings by Trump — which he has taken at a pace that has exceeded his predecessor’s rate — need to be curtailed immediately.
The president is a servant to the people, not the other way around. He should behave as such, and not treat his position like that of a king.