If you've paid any attention to President Trump, you know he's obsessed with golf and he golfs a lot. HuffPost tried to discern what Trump's roughly 175 president golf trips have cost in added travel and security costs, and on Wednesday they reported their conservative estimate: $102 million. That includes $81 million for his 61 days at his golf courses in Florida, $17 million for his 58 days at his New Jersey resort, $1 million for him to visit his club in Los Angeles, and $3 million to tack a trip to his Scottish golf course onto a visit to London. A planned golf trip to Ireland will cost millions more.
For perspective, HuffPost says, $102 million "represents 255 times the annual presidential salary he volunteered not to take," and former President Barack Obama at this point in his presidency had racked up about $30 million in out-of-town golf expenses.
A HuffPost investigation has revealed that President Donald Trump’s love of golf is costing taxpayers a lot of green. pic.twitter.com/29Dw4kKTW9
At The Washington Examiner, Tom Rogan scolds HuffPost for "hyperventilating" about Trump's golf expenses, noting, reasonably, that president need vacations and have to travel with large, expensive entourages "Too many conservative commentators unjustly attacked Obama's travel costs," he said, and "liberals are wrong to complain about President Trump's golfing costs."
But cost was only part of HuffPost's concerns. All but one of Trump's 175 golf outings have been at Trump-owned courses — the exception was in Japan — and "on top of the publicity value of a presidential visit, each trip also results in many thousands of taxpayer dollars flowing to Trump resorts for hotel rooms, golf carts, and food and drink for Secret Service agents," HuffPost notes. "Because Trump continues to profit from these businesses ... a portion of that taxpayer money ends up in Trump's own pocket." A recent government report found that Trump's Mar-a-Lago earned about $60,000 from just four of Trump's 24 presidential visits. Read more at HuffPost. Peter Weber