Judicial Watch announced Monday it obtained records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force and the Secret Service in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and two FOIA lawsuits for travel expenses by the families of former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump.
The total for Obama travel is $9.03 million for this production of documents. Added to the previously released costs, the known total for travel expenses for the Obamas now stands at $114.7 million.
The total for President Trump’s travels in this batch of records is $2.8 million. Added to the previously released costs, the known travel costs are now $10.4 million during his 10 months in office.
Judicial Watch obtained new Obama travel records from the Secret Service as the result of a May 2017 FOIA lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, No. 1:17-cv-01007).
Judicial Watch’s lawsuit produced the following travel records showing a total of $9,028,346.90 for Obama travel:
A pair of Obama family vacations the weekend of Feb. 14, 2014, cost the Secret Service $272,192.91:
- Michelle Obama’s annual trip to Aspen with her daughters – where she shut down the airport for an hour – cost $6,970 in air/rail, $5,614.99 in car rentals and $76,078.30 in hotels for a total of $88,663.29
- President Obama’s annual golfing trip to Palm Springs included a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and cost $10,951 in air/rail, $10,166.79 in car rentals and $162,411.80 in hotels for a total of $183,529.62
Michelle Obama made two North Carolina trips in 2016 to campaign for Hillary Clinton. Air Force expenses total $40,902.40. In both trips, she took a C-40C military jet operating at $5,312 per hour.
- Michelle Obama flew to Charlottesville then to Raleigh on Oct. 4 for 2.1 hours at a total of $11,155.20
- Michelle Obama flew roundtrip to Belville and then Salem on Oct. 26 and 27 for a total of 5.6 hours at $29,747.20.
In July 2017, Judicial Watch filed a separate FOIA lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, for the Air Force and Secret Service travel expenditures for the Trump family during April 2017 and Obama family between January 2009 and January 2017 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Dept. of Defense and Dept. of Homeland Security (No. 1:17-cv-01341)).
Air Force and Secret Service records show President Obama’s annual trips to Chicago cost $7,444,780.78
- During fiscal year 2015, Obama flew nine hours at an operating cost of $206,337 per hour for a total of $1,857,033
- During fiscal year 2016, Obama flew five hours at an operating cost of $180,118 per hour for a total of $900,590
- During fiscal year 2017, Obama flew 6.2 hours at an operating cost of $142,380 per hour for a total of $882,756
- Secret Service records show a total of $3,804,401.78 in costs between 2011 and 2016 for the Chicago trips. The Secret Service spent $3,372,399.07 in hotels, $423,428.28 in car rentals and $8,574.50 in miscellaneous expenses.
And the travel log has not been closed on the Obamas. Like all former presidents, he and his family will receive Secret Service security details for the rest of their lives.
Secret Service showed expenses for Obama’s post-presidency travels of $1.91 million including: $936,742.56 in hotels; $159,393.40 in air/rail; $2,684.11 in car rentals; $819.70 in overtime; and $814,062.44 in miscellaneous expenses. The destinations of these trips were withheld under “privacy” and “law enforcement” exemptions.
Trump’s travel costs surpass $10 million
Air Force documents showed two of President Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago cost $1,124,802:
- President Trump flew to Mar-a-Lago to meet with China’s President Ji Jinping between April 6-9 for 4.1 hours at an operating cost of $142,380 per hour for a total of $583,758
- President Trump flew to Mar-a-Lago to celebrate Easter between April 14-16 for 3.8 hours at an operating cost of $142,380 per hour for a total $541,044
Judicial Watch obtained Air Force records through a FOIA request showing that President Trump’s visits to his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort and a Pennsylvania rally cost $603,107.40:
- President Trump flew to a rally in Harrisburg on April 29 to celebrate his 100th day in office. He flew 1.1 hours at an operating cost of $142,380 for a total of $156,618;
- President Trump flew to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster between May 5-8, where he tweeted that he was saving money by not going to New York and causing a disruption.
- He flew 1.5 hours at an operating cost of $142,380 and .7 hours on a C-32A military jet at $15,994 for a total of $224,765.80;
- President Trump flew to Bedminster between June 9-11 for 1.4 hours at an operating cost of $142,380 per hour for a total of $199,332 and;
- First Lady Melania Trump flew to Bedminster July 14–16 in a military C-32A jet for 1.4 hours at an operating cost of $15,994 for a total of $22,391.60
“It shouldn’t require federal lawsuits to 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 Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We will continue to monitor this spending while taxpayers continue to pay the bills for presidential travel.”