There may be no better way to keep on eye on our leaders’ penchant for pretending to royalty than to tally the cost of their travel and accommodations.
Our nation has granted its presidents exquisite transport because we need our leaders to be efficient and safe. However, we don’t need for them to luxuriate on our tax dollars.
As you know, we have carefully tracked the travel costs President Obama incurred, and we have an update on that last week. We have obtained records from the Secret Service and the Air Force in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that show Obama family travel cost taxpayers a grand total of $99,714,527.82.
The newly obtained Obama White House era travel records show:
- The March 2014 trip to Key Largo during Spring Break – where the First Family stayed at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club – cost the Secret Service $247,827.50: $182,120.33 for hotels and $65,707.17 in travel expenses. The total cost of that trip, with previously released $885,683 in flight costs from the Air Force, is $1,133,510.50.
- Other documents show that Michelle Obama’s February 2015 Aspen vacation cost the Secret Service a total of $64,807.41: $47,109.28 for hotels, $3,559.43 in rental cars and $14,138.70 in other travel expenses. The total cost of the trip, with $57,068.80 in flight costs from previously released Air Force records, is $121,876.21.
- Judicial Watch released documents from the Air Force concerning the 2016-2017 Obama family Christmas trip to Honolulu showing 17.9 hours flying at $142,380 per hour, bringing the total flight cost to $2,548,602.
We have also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Secret Service records associated with President Obama’s movements, schedule, and activities since his departure from the White House. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (No. 1:17-cv-00928)).
The suit was filed after the Secret Service failed to respond to a March 24, 2017, FOIA request seeking:
All records of former President Barack Obama’s movements, schedule, activities, and/or meeting for January 21, 2017 through March 21, 2017. Such records include, but are not limited to, U.S. Secret Service schedules and activity reports.
Although Obama is no longer in office, he continues to receive Secret Service protection at taxpayer expense. In January, the Obama family traveled to Palm Springs, CA. The former president also spent a few weeks in French Polynesia. And all the while, taxpayers paid the protection tab.
For eight long years, the Obamas spent our tax dollars for a lavish jet-setting lifestyle. Many in the media only focus on President Trump’s travel, but Barack Obama continues to cost taxpayers with his luxury travel, and we aim to document it.
Of course, we are also actively tracking the travel expenses of President Trump. On May 4, we released records from the Department of the Air Force in response to FOIA requests that show President Trump’s flights to Mar-a-Lago for two weekends (in February and March) cost $1,281,420.00. And, as I told the Washington Post, since he is spending taxpayer dollars, Trump may want to consider using the presidential retreat of Camp David, a short helicopter ride from the White House, for his weekend getaways.