President Trump has become known for his frequent jaunts to the Mar-a-lago, his private club in Florida and according to the Washington Post, the cost of those expeditions is starting to add up. The Post reported Friday that Trump's Mar-A-Lago trips have cost taxpayers more than $6.6 million in security costs so far, which comes down to roughly $1 million per trip. According to a Government Accountability Office report from 2016. a comparable outing to Florida by former President Barack Obama cost only $586,000.
Mar-a-lago is on the waterfront, which means it must be guarded by air, land and sea when the president is staying there. The $6.6 million figure, which the Post obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, is the cost incurred by the U.S. Coast Guard, which provides patrol boats, helicopters and anti-terrorism specialists for each of Trump's Mar-a-lago trips. The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Adm. Paul Zukunft, told journalists in April that the agency had received no additional funds to cover the costs of protecting Mar-a-lago.
But Trump's trips to his Palm Beach club require additional expenses as well, such as travel and Secret Service protection. As such, the total cost of Trump's Mar-a-lago visits is much higher than the Post's figure: CNN reported in April that the total cost of the president's Mar-a-lago trips was over $21 million. According to POLITICO, the cost of a single Trump visit to the resort is around $3 million.
All of this puts Trump on track to far surpass Obama's travel costs. According to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, taxpayers spent around $96 million on Obama's travel expenses over the course of eight years. If Trump continues at his current pace, then, he will rack up more travel costs in his first year than Obama did during his entire presidency.
Prior to becoming president, Trump frequently criticized Obama for his travel costs. "The habitual vacationer, @BarackObama, is now in Hawaii," Trump tweeted in 2011. "This vacation is costing taxpayers $4 milion [sic] +++ while there is 20% unemployment." In another tweet, he condemned the Obamas for going to Martha's Vinyard, claiming that they "love to extravagantly spend on the taxpayers' dime."
In March, Trump proposed cutting funding to the Coast Guard by $1.3 billion. However, he soon scaled that back, and the latest version of his proposed budget would only cut funding for the agency by $267 million.