This weekend marks the 7th weekend out of 13 that Trump has spent golfing at Mar-A-Lago, and his weekends at Mar-A-Lago are both numerous and expensive. Each trip to Mar-A-Lago costs taxpayers an estimated $3.6m dollars based off a previous GAO report on Obama’s similar vacation to South Florida to golf, racking up an estimated $25m in total costs for vacation trips paid on taxpayers dime for Trump’s vacations. To put that into perspective, 61 thousand kids could be fed this year through school lunches if Trump’s vacation money instead was invested into the National School Lunch Program (NSLP costs about $416 per kid per year).
Trump’s vacations aren’t just lavish- they’re hypocritical. Trump frequently critiqued Obama’s time spent vacationing, yet Trump is quickly outpacing Obama. Obama spent 217 days on vacation while President- 7.5% of his time in office. Trump so far has spent 23% of his time in office on vacation. He’s on pace to spend more taxpayer money in his first year in office on travel than Obama did in 8 years.
Trump was relentless in his hypocritical criticism of Obama, suggesting Obama was ignoring America’s problems to enjoy himself golfing. Bradd Jeffy NBC News News Editor points out, Trump tweeted 18 times previously criticizing Obama’s vacation time. A couple of the most disparaging tweets:
“Can you believe that,with all the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter” (13 Oct 2014)
“While our wonderful President was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster!” (21 May 2016)
“We pay for Obama’s travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf.” (14 Oct 2014)
Trump also came out against vacations just days after his election, “There’s just so much to be done. So I don’t think we’ll be very big on vacations, no.”
His anti-vacation stance goes farther back, saying in July, “Our country is going to hell. ISIS is laughing at us, they’re chopping off heads, they’re drowning people in steel cages, and [Obama’s] out there playing golf with just about as long a trip as you can make from Washington.”
While Spicer tries to paint Mar-A-Lago as a Winter White House, how much work happens there is debatable. Trump has met world leaders in Mar-A-Lago, like Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, but he also spends a significant amount of time golfing with friends. One can also call into question whether expending $25m in taxpayer dollars is worth it when Trump has another cheaper residence that has met world leaders since 1792- the White House.
Most people know about Donald Trump’s real estate empire, but do you know about his dirty backdealings and FBI investigations into his empire? Or when he paid 300 undocumented Polish workers in vodka while forcing them to cut through live electrical wire? In our book review of Donald Trump: The Candidate, we dig into these mostly unknown stories about Donald Trump’s dirty business empire. Read here to learn our President’s shady real estate dealings.