Source: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Trump's 29th trip to Mar-a-Lago brings golf tab to 334 years of presidential salary


Feb. 17 2020, Updated 9:33 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump visited Mar-a-Lago on Friday for the 29th golf-related trip of his presidency, bringing his total golf tab up to $133.8 million according to a report by the Huffington Post. Their estimate is based on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report of Trump’s first four outings to Mar-a-Lago as president.  

The Post notes that figure translates to 335 years of Trump's presidential salary, which he is donating to charity. 

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President Trump's frequent trips have earned him criticism from many, especially because he was so critical of President Obama's trips to golf clubs before and during his presidential campaign.  

In October 2014, Trump wrote:"Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter." 

Source: twitter
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And during his campaign, Trump promised that he would “rarely leave the White House." Despite that promise, it's estimated that President Trump has spent 114 days at his home in Mar-a-Lago and 75 days at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.   

The Huffington Post points out that golfing is a favorite pastime of President Trump, and that he has spent two-and-a-half times as many days golfing as Obama did at the same point in his presidency. If Trump plays gold on Saturday and Sunday when he visits his golf courses, then he has played 248 times. Obama had played 92 times at the same point. 

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Of that enormous figure, at least several million has gone to Trump's business as Secret Service agents and other government officials eat and stay at his hotels and golf courses.   

Earlier this month, a report by Washington Post journalists revealed that the Secret Service was paying Trump's resorts as much as $650 a night for rooms. And in some cases, even as much as $17,000 a month for one three-bedroom cottage.  

ProPublica also reports that the White House paid Mar-a-Lago more than $1,000 for Trump's White House staffers to enjoy over 50 drinks on one night in 2017. 

As recently as last year, Eric Trump claimed that the Secret Service was being charged as little as $50 a night.  

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“If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free,” Eric Trump told Yahoo Finance. “So everywhere that he goes, if he stays at one of his places, the government actually spends, meaning it saves a fortune because if they were to go to a hotel across the street, they’d be charging them $500 a night, whereas, you know we charge them, like $50." 

But records obtained by the Washington Post show that the Secret Service spent more than $471,000 in 103 payments at Trump resorts between January 2017 and April 2018 alone. Factoring in all of President Trump's travel across his entire term, the actual number is probably far higher.    

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The records show that at some of Trump's properties, the Secret Service is being charged as much as $650 per night for a room. The Post states that this rate was for rooms at Mar-a-Lago and that they were more than triple the normal limit on federal spending for a hotel room in that area. The Secret Service does not have to abide by these limits.  

Regular payments of $396.15 were also made dozens of times for rooms at different resorts.  

Payments also showed that the Secret Service is renting a three-bedroom cottage at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster for $17,000 a month. The Post states that the rate is "unusually high" for the area.  

While we've known that President Trump' is profiting from staying at his resorts when he travels, we haven't known how much the Secret Service is being charged by Trump's business until now. The Secret Service has not been listing the costs in a public database as is required got payments over $10,000.  


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