The cost of President Donald Trump's visit to golf courses has ballooned from around $110 million to $118.3 million in the space of a month according to Yahoo News. The new expenses came as Trump made his 26th visit to Mar-a-Lago on Saturday.
That total is the equivalent of 296 years of the $400,000 presidential salary that President Trump is donating to good causes.
Of that $118.3 million, at least several million has gone to Trump's business as Secret Service agents and officials eat and stay at his hotels and golf courses.
The exact amount is hard to estimate because the White House does not reveal how many aides stay at the properties when Trump visits.
At this time in President Barack Obama's first term, he had spent 88 days on the golf course. Saturday marked Trump's 227th day.
The conservative group Judicial Watch estimated that President Obama spent $105.7 million on personal travel in his two terms. However, that figure may include official trips by the Obama's as well as campaign-related travel that was partially reimbursed by the Democratic party.
The Huffington Post states that Obama's golf bill was somewhere closer to $30 million.
President Trump's golf 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."
And back in December 2011, he stated: "I play golf to relax. My company is in great shape. @BarackObama plays golf to escape work while America goes down the drain."
According to Yahoo News, President Obama spent about 3% of his total time in office playing golf, while President Trump has so far spent roughly 20% of his time in office golfing.
Some of that cost comes from the Secret Service's need for modified golf carts. The Secret Service needs to book golf carts in advance since they need to be modified to go at least 19 mph, around 5 mph faster than an unmodified cart.
And to cover President Trump's planned visits to Florida between November 2019 and May 2020, the Secret Service has rented 84 golf carts at a cost of more than $50,000 according to Yahoo News.
These golf carts for the winter season will be supplied by a company called Maddox Joines Inc, which does business as “Sunshine Golf Car.” The company is based just a 24-mile drive away from Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.
Throughout 2018, the Secret Service spent nearly $120,000 on cart rentals for the New Jersey course. Since becoming President, golf cart costs have exceeded $550,000.
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