Donald Trump arrives at Mar-a-Lago for 31st golf vacation, raises taxpayers' expenses for his hobby to $151.5M
President Donald Trump, after flying from the White House on Wednesday, December 23, arrived at his 'Winter White House' — Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago in Florida. A HuffPost analysis said that the president came to the luxurious property for the 31st golf vacation there during his presidency, which raised taxpayer-funded travel and security total to $151.5 million. The analysis stated that since taking the Oval Office from the Barack Obama administration, Trump has played golf on his properties nearly 289 times despite initially saying he won’t be going on any vacation.
“I just want to stay in the White House and work my a** off,” he had claimed in February 2016. Trump’s hobby that includes playing at his properties instead of courses close to the White House has costed too much money for American taxpayers. The record found that the Republican leader’s total costs come around $3.4 million for a single trip to Mar-a-Lago, which also includes flying his staff and the vehicles required for his motorcade on Air Force One and a number of cargo planes, as well as the tariffs caused by the Coast Guard to guard both the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean adjacent to his resort.
Besides Mar-a-Lago, Trump also went 23 times to his course in Bedminster, New Jersey, which cost $1.1 million for each trip. He made several trips to his courses in Palos Verdes, California; Doral, Florida; Turnberry, Scotland; and Doonbeg, Ireland. The 74-year-old went to Mar-a-Lago last year for Thanksgiving and that single visit cost taxpayers an extra $5.3 million thanks to additional charges of flying both modified Boeing 747s across the Atlantic and back because of Trump’s decision to visit Afghanistan from Florida, instead of leaving from the US capital.
The hefty amount of $151.5 million suggested that Trump has used money equivalent to 379 years of presidential salary despite him and his supporters denying that. But no official report about his expenditures has been issued by the president’s office. The White House has not even said anything about his golf visits. However, a Government Accountability Office report released in 2019 provided the president’s hard data and a methodology related to his four early 2017 visits to Mar-a-Lago, which HuffPost referred to for its own analysis.
This comes amid reports stating that Trump will stay in Palm Beach in the final days of his term. Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen said, “I would not be shocked if there is no concession speech at all. My theory is that at Christmas time he goes to Mar-a-Lago. I think he will stay there through the inauguration. I would not be shocked if he will not show up to the inauguration either.” Cohen added that there is a possibility that he might hide in Florida because he did not want to be seen publicly as a loser. “He cannot let the camera look at him and basically pull down the curtain and see the wizard standing beside. He is just a loser and it is killing him and, right now, what is going on in the White House is nothing but finger-pointing,” he explained.