Updated 11:38 am, Tuesday, February 21, 2017
After only one month on the job, President Donald Trump and his family have cost taxpayers $11.3 million for security.
That sum includes the president’s three trips to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and his sons’ business trips to Dubai and Uruguay.
For comparison, former President Barack Obama’s average annual cost to the taxpayers for each of his eight years in office was $12.1 million, according to conservative watchdog Judicial Watch.
Meanwhile, the cost of guarding Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where Melania Trump and the couple’s son Barron live, is $500,000 a day — or as much as $183 million annually — according Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader of the Senate. Schumer wants Trump to add those costs to the federal budget.
Schumer said about a fifth of that figure — about $100,000 a day — is borne by the city of New York.
“It’s simply unfair to have New York City taxpayers alone bear the burden of NYPD protection at Trump Tower. President Trump: this is your protection, so I challenge you to put these costs in your upcoming federal budget and make a commitment to reimburse New York City,” Schumer said Sunday during a press briefing at his Manhattan office.
The cost of security for Obama during his four trips to New York last year totaled $4.1 million, according to the Guardian.
In Florida, the Sun-Sentinel reported that the president’s weekend visits to Palm Beach are costing local taxpayers $60,000 a day for police protection, including overtime, but that’s just a fraction of the federal expense. Unlike traditional presidential retreat Camp David in Maryland, Mar-a-Lago is not easy to secure. Its exposed coastline requires Coast Guard patrols and other security and staffing costs.
The White House maintains the president is working when he goes to the resort.
“He is not vacationing when he goes to Mar-a-Lago,” a White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, told the Washington Post last week. “The president works nonstop every day of the week, no matter where he is.”
But on Sunday, the president played 18 holes of golf with Rory McIlroy at Trump International, according to the golf blog No Laying Up.
That appeared to contradict White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who told reporters Sunday that the president “played a couple of holes,” but that she didn’t believe it was “a full round.”
Before he became president, Trump was a constant critic of Obama’s travel spending.
Before he became president, Trump was a constant critic of Obama’s…
Trump was highly critical of Obama trips that incurred taxpayer expense during his predecessor’s administration.
As for the president’s sons, records show secret service protection of them during their business trips to Dubai and Uruguay exceeded $104,000, according to the Post.
The two sons attended the grand opening Saturday of a Trump-branded golf resort in Dubai. Previously Eric Trump visited Uruguay to promote a Trump-brand condo tower.