President Donald Trump and his entourage are spending a third weekend at his Mar-a-Lago oceanfront property in Palm Beach, Florida, while New York police stand outside the Trump Tower where First Lady Melania Trump and son, Barron, live.
The “elaborate” lifestyle the Trump family has assumed, the Chicago Tribune reports, has strained the Secret Service. As a result, security officials must stretch their forces to cover several local communities in order to keep the Trump and his family safe. This has its cost, and the taxpayers are footing the bill.
The last three trips Trump made to Mar-a-Lago came with a roughly $10 million price tag, but costs covered by Palm Beach County officials working around the clock to ensure the Trump family is safe haven't been factored in yet. Reports show that the plan is to have Washington reimburse Palm Beach officials in due time.
Considering deputies handling extra security and traffic issues around Trump's chosen weekend destination add up to tens of thousands of dollars a day, the taxpayer is in for a long list of expenses, especially when you consider the $500,000 a day spent by New York city officials to guard the Trump Tower. In the end, you might as well end up with a $183 million a year price tag for the security of the Trump family.
In an early February visit to Uruguay, the Secret Service and U.S. embassy staff had to spend $97,830 in hotel room bills while Trump's son, Eric, was in town to promote a family brand condo. Now, as the president spends yet another weekend at his Florida home, the Trump sons head to Dubai. The costs tied to the current trip have yet to be revealed.
To many, allowing Trump to travel to his properties along with an entourage of photographers and members of the press turns the official business of the presidency into an opportunity to market his brand — on the taxpayer's dime.
Over the eight years of President Barack Obama's presidency, estimates show taxpayers spent about $97 million with his annual trips to Hawaii and Martha's Vineyard, but experts believe that, at this pace, Trump is sure to surpass Obama's mark.
In 2014, Trump criticized Obama for golfing while on the job. On the same day, he also complained about Obama's taxpayer-funded trips.
Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
We pay for Obama's travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
As Bedminster, New Jersey, officials prepare for the possibility that Trump could be making up to 10 visits to his Trump National Golf Club this year, the cost to local authorities could add up to more than $300,000. That would add yet another burden to the already overtaxed American population.
Will Trump ever consider practicing what he preaches?
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Gary Cameron