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U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, center waves during a visit to Ronda in southern Spain, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010. Michelle Obama is currently on a private trip to Spain with friends. (AP Photo/Sergio Torres) U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, center waves during a visit to Ronda in southern Spain, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010. Michelle Obama is currently on a private trip to Spain with friends. (AP Photo/Sergio Torres)  

Group: Michelle Obama’s Spain trip cost taxpayers $467k

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

It cost taxpayers nearly a half-million dollars for first lady Michelle Obama to travel to Spain in 2010, according to an analysis by Judicial Watch.

The right-leaning watchdog group estimated that the trip cost $467,585. It based its analysis on documents obtained from the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Air Force.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said it took his group “two years and a lawsuit to get these documents out of the Obama administration.”

“It is hypocritical for President Obama to fire GSA officials for wasteful conference spending, while his family went on a luxury vacation in the Costa del Sol Spain that cost taxpayers nearly half a million dollars,” Fitton said.

Among the various travel costs, the group estimated — using the Defense Department’s 2010 published hourly rates — that it cost the government $199,323 to fly to Spain and back to the United States.

The New York Times reported that those on the trip included the first lady, one of her daughters and “two friends and four of their daughters, as well as a couple of aides and a couple of advance staff members.”

Fitton’s group has previously disclosed the cost of sending the first family on overseas trips. Its analysis indicated that it cost $424,142 to fly the first family to South Africa and Botswana in 2011.

White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to comment on the report during a press briefing Thursday.

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