Watchdog: 4 Trump Mar-a-Lago Trips in 2017 Cost Taxpayers $14M

AFP  Getty Images

AFP Getty Images

A government watchdog says President Donald Trump's four trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in early 2017 cost taxpayers almost $14 million.

The government watchdog group was tasked with compiling expenses incurred by different federal agencies to finance security, logistics and other resources for the president's four trips to Mar-a-Lago from February 3 to March 5, 2017.

The GAO, a nonpartisan government watchdog that works as Congress's investigative arm, found that the government paid about $60,000 to the Mar-a-Lago directly in these four trips, money that goes towards further enriching the Trump family.

The government also spent almost $400,000 protecting the president's two older sons during three worldwide trips they took in early 2018, the office found.

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The first time came in 1943 in a game between the Cleveland Indians and Washington Senators at Washington's Griffith Stadium. The loge level is the second deck at Dodger Stadium, so the ball just cleared the protective netting.

When asked in 2017 about his travel expenses to the exclusive club, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "The bottom line is the president is the president no matter where he goes, and he doesn't get to control the level of costs and security that may come along with that".

The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

During one of Trump's trips to Mar-a-Lago in early 2017, the president played host to visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The White House Counsel's Office didn't respond to requests for information that the GAO sent in April 2017 and January 2018, according to the report. Dianne Feinstein and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings.

The costs do not include expenses incurred by local law enforcement, and salaries and benefits paid to government officials who would be paid regardless of travel. The costs can't be directly extrapolated since travel days are significantly more expensive, but if these numbers carried through the government would have spent roughly $77 million total for Trump's frequent Mar-a-Lago visits. Here are some costs that were included. That includes trips by Eric Trump to Uruguay and the Dominican Republic and a trip by both brothers and their spouses to the United Arab Emirates.

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