Washington, D.C. — Financial records from the U.S. Air Force show that travel costs for just two of Donald Trump’s weekend jaunts to Mar-a-Lago, his beloved Palm Beach club, have reached nearly $1.3 million, according to the government accountability group Judicial Watch.
“According to the Air Force documents, the cost to operate Air Force One is $142,380 per hour,” the organization wrote in a press release. “The Air Force records show a total of nine hours for trips from Feb. 3 – 6 and March 3 – 6.”
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The February trip racked up 4.7 hours of flight time to the tune of $669,186. The March trip, at 4.3 hours, cost $612,234, for a grand total of $1,281,420 — again, for only two trips.
Expenses aren’t incurred in the air, alone, of course. Judicial Watch contacted the Secret Service regarding financial numbers for on-the-ground expenses for these two trips, as well as for numbers on other trips taken by the president or VIPs in his administration. The agency has yet to respond.
These numbers also do not include expenses incurred during Trump’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in April.
As Politico reminded readers back in February, long before entering office Donald Trump was highly critical of the luxurious manner in which Barack Obama and his family traveled and took vacations. The outlet highlighted the current president’s past attitude by pointing to tweets Trump wrote back in 2011.
“The habitual vacationer, @BarackObama, is now in Hawaii. This vacation is costing taxpayers $4 million +++ while there is 20% unemployment,” Trump tweeted in December of that year.
“President @BarackObama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars — Unbelievable!” he posted a few days later.
It should be noted that Judicial Watch plays no favorites. Beginning in 2009, the organization tracked the travel expenses of President Barack Obama and arrived at a total of nearly 100 million taxpayer dollars spent in just eight years.