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Trump’s Trip Costing Taxpayers Millions Has A Lot Of Precedent

Left: (Photo credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images) Right: (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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President Donald Trump will cost taxpayers an estimated $3 million for a Florida trip he is taking over the weekend, in a common move set by previous presidents.

Politico reported the $3 million price by comparing the trip to one former president Barack Obama took roughly a few years ago.

Obama traveled to Florida in 2013 and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a report that estimated the ultimate cost was around $3.6 million. This was just one of the many times the Obama administration spent millions on travel.

In fact, Obama’s total travel expenses in his eight-year tenure amounted to $96,938,882, according to Judicial Watch. Obama traveled to the Florida Everglades on Earth Day in 2015 to talk about the dangers of global warming, costing taxpayers $866,615 in the process.

Trump was a constant critic of such trips, specifically Obama’s, and used his favorite medium Twitter to express his disapproval.

While presidents usually pay for their own vacations, like lodging and food, taxpayer expenses include things like the salaries of White House staffers and secret service agents, as well as highly-secure transportation.

Operating Air Force One, the fortified aircraft that carries the president, is estimated to cost taxpayers $179,750 an hour, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Comprehensive data of past presidents’ travel expenses are limited since records started to be kept relatively recently.

“The costs are comparable to when President Clinton or President Bush traveled abroad,” former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in 2010, according to Politico, referring to an Obama trip that was originally (and dubiously) reported to cost $200 million a day.

While not technically for vacation purposes, former President Bill Clinton’s trips to Africa, Chile, and China, for example, “were at least $42.8 million, $10.5 million, and $18.8 million, respectively” according to another GAO report. The largest part of the costs were from “operating expenses of the President’s aircraft and other military passenger and cargo aircraft” and “travel expenses, including lodging for the travelers.”

While Trump may get a discount for staying at his own resort, he will most likely continue the tradition of costing taxpayers millions on travel expenses.

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