The Government Accountability Office made public the results of an investigation into the president’s travel costs on Tuesday, revealing that four trips to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in a one-month span totaled an eye-popping $13.6 million.
The investigation, conducted in response to an inquiry from Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), examined the costs of four of Trump’s trips to his Florida resort as well as three trips overseas taken by Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
The estimated cost for the United States Secret Service to protect the president’s two eldest sons on the specified trips is estimated by the GAO at $396,000.
Costs associated with President Trump’s frequent trips to his different properties have long been the subject of scrutiny by his critics. For his part, Trump has a long history of scrutinizing the costs of former President Barack Obama’s trips and vacations.
Obama is on yet another two-day West Coast fundraising swing. Has to fit it in before his 15 day tax-payer funded vacation.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2014
Secret Service members on break from Obama’s $4M vacation are more than welcomed to relax at Hawaii’s top hotel @TrumpWaikiki.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2013
The $13.6 million taxpayer expense for the president’s travel to Mar-a-Lago will likely draw criticism — and that’s just the cost of four trips to the president’s Florida resort. According to an NBC News tracker, Trump has spent a total of 81 days at Mar-a-Lago since taken office.
In addition to a total cost of $13.6 million, the Government Accountability Office identified “about $60,000 in expenses paid to Mar-a-Lago,” directly for the cost of the four trips to the resort.
The GAO investigation also found that both the Secret Service and the Department of Defense had not been properly reported to Congress their expenses for presidential protection from the fiscal year 2015 through 2017. The Presidential Protection Assistance Act of 1976 requires both agencies and the United States Coast Guard to report those costs on a semiannual basis, but the GAO found that only the Coast Guard had been properly reporting costs.
“Absent clear policies with an oversight mechanism to ensure that the reports are produced, Congress has not been provided required information concerning the costs for providing protective services for the President and others,” the report reads.