Trump weekend trip to Florida could cost taxpayers $3M: report

Trump weekend trip to Florida could cost taxpayers $3M: report
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President Trump’s weekend trip to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., could cost taxpayers more than $3 million, Politico reported Friday.

The estimate is based on a 2016 Government Accountability Office report detailing a similar three-day trip by former President Obama in 2013. During the trip, Obama left Washington for Chicago and later flew to Palm Beach, Fla. The report pegged the cost of that getaway at about $3.6 million.

About $770,000 of that cost was borne by the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, while the other $2.8 million was billed to the Defense Department, primarily for the use of Air Force One and its accompanying support.

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Trump complained numerous times during Obama's term about the president's vacations and weekend trips, accusing Obama of playing fast and loose with taxpayer money.

“There’s just so much to be done,” Trump said in November after winning the presidential election. “So I don’t think we’ll be very big on vacations, no.”

But Trump’s weekend getaway is likely to incur similar expenses, and the president has said he intends to travel to the Florida estate regularly.

Conservative group Judicial Watch told Politico it would file a Freedom of Information Act request upon Trump’s return to see how much the president’s trip cost taxpayers.

“I hope he reflects on the costs of doing that and sees if there’s any savings to be achieved,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Politico. “He should check out Camp David and see if he can make better use of that.”

Camp David is the official presidential retreat in Maryland and has been a common destination for vacations and official business for past presidents.

Trump’s trip, which takes place between Friday evening and Monday morning, is almost identical except for the stop in Chicago.

The Mar-a-Lago trip isn’t just a leisurely escape for Trump. He’s set to hold several phone calls and meetings over the weekend.