Travel expenses incurred by President Donald Trump during the first month of his administration are rapidly approaching what former President Barack Obama would incur in a year.
The Washington Post reports that travel by Trump and his family has cost taxpayers $11.3 million since the inauguration. This number includes the cost of three trips to the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and security to protect his two sons while they conduct business abroad.
"This is an expensive way to conduct business, and the president should recognize that," Tom Fitton, president of the conservative group Judicial Watch told the Washington Post. Judicial Watch tracked Obama’s family vacation costs during his administration, and stated it intends to continue tracking the Trump administration. Trump has stated that he will refuse the president's annual salary of $400,000.
Obama's annual travel expenses were $12.1 million, according to Judicial Watch.
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Adding to the expense is the protection of Trump's wife Melania and son Barron, who are currently living in Trump Tower in Manhattan. The daily cost of Secret Service protection for Melania and Barron is estimated to be $500,000, which could approach $183 million annually, according to the Washington Post. Renting a floor at Trump Tower costs approximately $1.5 million per month.
Trump's adult sons are also incurring travel costs. Eric Trump's recent business trip to Uruguay added $100,000 in security bills, and the Secret Service cost for a recent weekend trip to Dubai made by Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. has surpassed $16,000, according to hotel bills obtained by the Washington Post.
The Secret Service protects the president, along with the vice president and their immediate family members. They are currently tasked with the protection of multiple homes for the four Trump children, in addition to the president and first lady.
"Every administration presents unique challenges to which the Secret Service has effectively adapted," according to an agency statement obtained by the Washington Post. "Regardless of location . . . the Secret Service is confident in our security plan."
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Trump was frequently critical of Obama's vacation and travel habits during Obama's time in office. "President Barack Obama's vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars -- Unbelievable!" Trump tweeted in 2012.