The Obamas’ 2013 trip to Africa cost taxpayers over $2,000,000 in lodging, entertainment, and security expenses alone, government watchdog Judicial Watch announced Thursday — a part of the total cost of approximately $100,000,000 taxpayers spent on the president’s vacation, as estimated by The Washington Post.
Records obtained in response to a FOIA request filed last summer detail that nearly one million dollars were spent on hotel accommodations for the Secret Service–for one week. Preparations for a canceled Tanzania safari–yes, a safari they didn’t even go on–cost over ten thousand dollars. The brief summer 2013 trip also cost over eight million in flight expenses. (RELATED: 2 Obama vacations cost taxpayers nearly $16 million in flights alone)
“Keep in mind that this outrageously lavish excursion came at the very same time that the president was shutting down White House tours and blaming it on the sequester,” noted Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “As one congressional critic noted at the time, the White House could have 1,350 weeks of tours for the cost of the Obama family’s trip to Africa.”
When asked about the cost of the trip last year, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said, “Frankly, there will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa, because when you travel to regions like Africa that don’t get a lot of presidential attention, you can have very long-standing and long-running impact from the visit. The president’s not going to retreat from an entire continent on terms of the cost.”