White House officials on Friday defended the price of President Obama's upcoming trip to Africa, saying the majority of the cost was for security.
"First of all we don't have the exact figure of costs. Frankly we don't form or control those numbers," Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said in a conference call with reporters previewing the trip. "The security requirements which make up the bulk of the costs are determined by Secret Service and they don't publicly release breakdowns of the costs of the trips but again, this is something that is determined not by White House planning."
Discussion focused on the cost of Obama's trip to South Africa, Senegal, and Tanzania after The Washington Post reported that the trip would cost $100 million.
Rhodes stressed the Secret Service, and not the White House, determines the security precautions necessary for presidential travel.
"And, as The Washington Post story indicated, that's been the case for no matter who's president," Rhodes said. "The costs for these types of trips as well as any president trips are based on those determinations."
Obama's trip will also require moving almost 60 vehicles, dozens of Secret Service agents and military planes to Africa, the Post also reported.
A week earlier, Rhodes also defended the price of the trip.
"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," Rhodes said.