Trump's Golfing Has Cost Taxpayers $100 Million — and Some Money Goes to His Businesses: Report
Before he became President, Trump repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama for golfing
Donald Trump‘s golf outings have cost taxpayers at least $102 million in extra travel and security expenses, a new analysis shows.
The HuffPost analysis, which uses figures from the Government Accountability Office, shows that $81 million of taxpayer money has been spent on the President’s two dozen golfing trips to Florida, $17 million has been spent on his 15 trips to golf in New Jersey, and $1 million has been spent at his golf resort in Los Angeles.
In addition, $3 million went towards his two-day trip to Scotland last summer, $1.3 million of which was just for the rental cars for those that joined him for the trip.
The $102 million is, according to the analysis, 255 times the annual presidential salary Trump volunteered not to take upon winning the election. It is also three times the cost of Robert Muller’s investigation of possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to the HuffPost analysis.
The White House did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Because the overwhelming majority of Trump’s golfing outings are hosted by Trump-owned courses, “each trip also results in many thousands of taxpayer dollars flowing to Trump resorts for hotel rooms, golf carts, and food and drink for Secret Service agents,” the analysis explains.
“Because Trump continues to profit from these businesses … a portion of that taxpayer money ends up in Trump’s own pocket,” they added.
However, The White House is not required by the Freedom of Information Act to divulge the costs of President Trump’s golf trips to the public, thus making it difficult to calculate the exact profit he makes from them.
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A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that in just four visits studied, Mar-a-Lago received approximately $60,000, Bloomberg reports.
“As Trump promotes his golf courses through taxpayer-financed visits to his clubs, it’s an extra benefit for him that his properties are able to scoop up some taxpayer money directly,” Robert Weissman, president of the group Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer rights group, told HuffPost.
Before he became President, Trump repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama for golfing.
“I play golf to relax: My company is in great shape. Barack Obama plays golf to escape work while America goes down the drain,” Trump tweeted in 2014.