President Donald Trump’s trip to his luxury resort in Mar-a-Lago this weekend could saddle taxpayers with a bill upward of $3 million and is already drawing the type of scrutiny Trump and other Republicans regularly heaped upon former President Barack Obama.
The Florida trip is Trump’s first getaway as president and is expected to be part business, part pleasure. He will reunite with his wife, Melania, who has been living in Trump Tower in Manhattan as their 10-year-old son Barron finishes the school year, and there are rumors he will attend the American Red Cross’ annual fundraising gala, which is being held at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night. In between the socializing, Trump will have several meetings and phone calls as he maintains his aggressive work schedule.
The trip, which is scheduled to last from Friday night to Monday morning, also likely comes with a hefty price tag.
The closest approximation of the cost comes from a report the Government Accountability Office prepared in 2016 about one of Obama’s trips in 2013 at the request of Republican Sen. John Barrasso. The trip was actually quite similar to the one that Trump is about to take. It occurred in February 2013 over the course of four days. Obama flew from Joint Base Andrews to Chicago on Feb. 15 to deliver a speech on the economy and the middle class, then flew from there to Palm Beach, Florida. He returned on Feb. 18. But for the Chicago detour, Trump’s trip is almost identical.
The cost of the 2013 trip for the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, was $3.6 million, the GAO found.
Trump’s multimillion-dollar trip, which comes just two weeks into his presidency, shows that Trump is not shy about engaging in the same type of jet-setting that he and other Republicans heavily criticized Obama for throughout his presidency.
“The habitual vacationer, @BarackObama, is now in Hawaii. This vacation is costing taxpayers $4 milion +++ while there is 20% unemployment,” Trump wrote on Twitter in December 2011 (when the unemployment rate was actually 8.5 percent).