New shocking details have emerged surrounding the specifics of how much President Obama set-back American taxpayers for his recreational trips.
According to Judicial Watch, the Obama Family’s total travel expenses while in office were just over $114 million, which include family vacations, recreational trips, talk show appearances, and other expenditures.
The conservative watchdog group recently announced that it obtained records from the US Air Force and the Secret Service relating to their recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the travel expenses of former President Barack Obama as well as President Donald Trump.
First filed in May 2017, the FOIA lawsuit ended up producing records that showed the Obama Family’s travel expenses cost American taxpayers $114 million in total. Among those costs included one family trip where Michelle Obama and her daughters shut down an airport for an hour for their annual vacation to Aspen, where they spent over $88,000 for a weekend trip.
In another instance, President Obama’s annual golfing trip to Palm Springs cost over $183,000 for a weekend as well. However, these expenses are still a far cry from some of their most expensive trips. The Obama Family’s Christmas vacations alone have cost taxpayers close to $35 million, according to The Washington Times.
The Secret Service also revealed that Mr. Obama spent considerable amounts in post-presidency travels as well, which were reimbursed by American taxpayers. Billing close to $2 million in total travel costs, with $936,000 on hotels and another $814,000 on “miscellaneous expenses,” these hefty reimbursements were made while not knowing anything about the destinations of these trips, which were withheld under “privacy” and “law enforcement” exemptions.
This updated figure of $114 million is an increase from previous reports earlier in this year, which calculated President Obama’s travel expenditures to be closer to $100 million. In 2016, the figure was thought to be even lower, estimated at $85 million. Judicial Watch focused on trips that they deemed to be non-essential, such as golfing, vacations, fundraisers, campaign stops, and talk show appearances.
Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch’s president, said he was frustrated that it required several federal lawsuits to get the government to release this information, especially since he felt the public deserved to know where their tax-funded dollars were going to.
“It shouldn’t require federal lawsuits to prod the Secret Service and Air Force to produce information about the costs of presidential travel – whether the travel is necessary or not, it’s a massive amount of money,” said Mr. Fitton. “We will continue to monitor this spending while taxpayers continue to pay the bills for presidential travel.”
He also mentioned that it is troubling to see such massive amounts of money being paid on trips that “appear to have minimal value to the public interest,” while at the same time hoping that President Trump “can immediately save taxpayers money by reforming presidential travel.”
The Obama Family spent over $114 million dollars on travel expenses while in office. Did they take advantage of taxpayer dollars?
At the moment, President Trump’s total travel costs are calculated at just over $10 million in his first year, lower than the average $14 million spent on travel expenses during Barack Obama’s tenure.
Most Americans would agree that these costs are wasteful expenses that could be better spent elsewhere. As the nation deals with a $20 trillion dollar national debt, these kinds of expenditures need to be curtailed.