Politics

American Taxpayers Paid $3.6 Million For Trump To Golf At His Ireland Resort

Donald Trump loves his golf and vacation time, and now taxpayers are footing a staggering growing bill that puts all past presidents to shame.

Trump’s golfing excursion in Ireland this week cost an estimated $3.6 million more than if he had remained in London during his visit to Europe, according to a new analysis.

Trump stayed at his hotel and golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland on Wednesday and Thursday night, visiting Normandy 440 miles away on Thursday for D-Day anniversary commemorations.

State Department contracts for the Doonbeg trip included $1,023,940 to rent cars and limos, $10,866 to install temporary phone lines, and $16,325 to rent golf carts for the Secret Service agents protecting Trump on the golf course.

The department gave out a total of $1.5 million in contracts for the Ireland detour.

The additional estimated costs include the moving of aircraft and personnel into position for the trip, and the transport back and forth from Doonbeg to Normandy.

While in Doonbeg, Trump was seen hitting the links on Friday morning.

The costs of the staying in Doonbeg bring the total cost for Trump’s golf trips while in office to $105.8 million.

Remember, he’s just three years into a four year term.

The $105.8 million total spent on Trump’s presidential golfing represents 255 times the annual presidential salary he volunteered not to take.

It is more than three times the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

It would fund for six years the Special Olympics program that Trump’s proposed budget had originally cut to save money.

While Republicans and Trump himself frequently criticized former President Barack Obama for his golf outings, Trump has spent more than twice as many days on the links, to date, as Obama did at the same point in his first term.

And because Trump has insisted on dozens of trips to New Jersey and Florida to play at his resorts there, taxpayers are spending more than three times as much as they did for golf by the same point in Obama’s term.

Trump’s critics point out that, aside from two annual vacations, Obama typically golfed at military bases near the White House, at a relatively low cost that covered fuel for the motorcade and Secret Service overtime.

Trump, on the other hand, prefers golfing at his own properties, and has spent many weekends at either his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, or his property in Bedminster, New Jersey.

While in DC, he favors visits by motorcade to Trump National in Sterling, Virginia.

Each trip to Mar-a-Lago costs taxpayers an estimated $3.4 million, and each Bedminster trip at least $1.2 million.

The White House is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and Trump’s press office does not answer most questions about his golf visits — even refusing to confirm whether he is, in fact, playing golf when he is physically at his golf courses.

But a recent Government Accountability Office report regarding Trump’s four early 2017 visits to Mar-a-Lago has provided hard data and a methodology that HuffPost followed in its own analysis.

Flying the Marine Corps helicopters — three of them are used each time ― from the White House to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One is based, costs $57,000 for the round trip, according to the GAO report. Flying the massive C-17 transports loaded with Trump’s 7-ton armored limousines and other specialized support vehicles costs $800,500 per Mar-a-Lago trip.

And for each of those trips, the Coast Guard winds up spending an extra $855,500 to patrol the Atlantic Ocean to the east of Mar-a-Lago and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west. That figure includes the expense of getting necessary ships, boats and crews to South Florida from stations as far away as Boston and Houston, the GAO reported.

As he began his own run for the White House, candidate Trump repeatedly promised that golf would never make it onto a President Trump schedule.

“I love golf, but if I were in the White House, I don’t think I’d ever see Turnberry again. I don’t think I’d ever see Doral again,” he told a rally audience in February 2016, referring to his course near the Miami airport. “I don’t ever think I’d see anything. I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off.”

In truth, Trump has now been president 856 days.

He has spent 174 of them on the golf course.

And the conservative voices who criticized Obama are silent.

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