By the time President Trump rings in 2018 at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, he will have spent at least part of more than 100 of his first 345 days in office at a Trump property, primarily Mar-a-Lago and a golf club in New Jersey, according to a Wall Street Journal tally. Along with his 40 days at Mar-a-Lago and nearly 40 days in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump has made more than 20 trips to a Trump golf course in Virginia, outside Washington, D.C. (He also golfed 20 times on Trump courses near Mar-a-Lago.)
Trump’s air travel alone to Mar-a-Lago has cost the government $6 million this year, according to a review of Air Force records by Judicial Watch; that doesn’t include Secret Service or Coast Guard protection, or other costs related to Trump’s Florida travels, and the travel costs to Bedminister haven’t been disclosed. Former President Barack Obama’s eight years of travel for himself and his family cost the government $96.9 million, or roughly $1 million a month, Judicial Watch estimates, including Secret Service protection and other expenses. Trump’s air travel to Mar-a-Lago over his first six months averaged $1.5 million a month, the Journal notes.
Trump’s travel outside Washington is also unusual in that the Trump properties he stays at are businesses that personally enrich him, largely from other guests paying to stay there or visit. Several of his properties sharply raised fees or rates since he was elected. “George W. Bush went to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, a lot, but it’s not like you could rent the bedroom next to his,” Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the transparency advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) told The Wall Street Journal. CREW sued Trump, arguing that he was violating the Constitution’s emoluments clauses, but a federal judge ruled that CREW and its co-litigants could not show they had standing to sue. Peter Weber