TRUMP TEAM TRAVEL TRAVAILS
In a three-month period between the inauguration and April 2017, Melania Trump racked up a bill of more than $675,000 in Air Force flights, The Wall Street Journal has learned. The high frequency of flights — 21 in total — stems from an arrangement that kept the first lady in New York City while her son, Barron Trump, finished the fifth grade. "While the first lady was living in Trump Tower in Manhattan, Air Force jets made at least 19 trips to LaGuardia Airport in New York and nine trips to Florida's Palm Beach International Airport to drop off or pick up Mrs. Trump," The Wall Street Journal writes. In total, 27 flights were made without passengers in order to accommodate the first lady.
There is no indication that any of Melania Trump's flights were improper, although the reports come as many members of President Trump's Cabinet have been scrutinized over their travel on taxpayer dollars, including former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who resigned after racking up $500,000 in charter flights. The Treasury Department inspector general found that Secretary Steven Mnuchin's seven flights on military planes were all legally approved but suggested that the $811,798 cost to taxpayers was poorly justified. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's travels also flagged attention after he chartered an oil executive's private plane, costing taxpayers more than $12,000.
President Trump often criticized first lady Michelle Obama for her travel, which amounted to more than $2.8 million in eight years, or "an average of about $350,000 a year — less than half what Mrs. Trump accrued in the three-month period before she moved to Washington," The Wall Street Journal writes.