When Barack Obama was president, the mainstream media didn’t much concern itself with his travel expenses. Perhaps his historic presidency was too much of a dream come true for them to care. But now that Donald Trump occupies the White House, things are different and the media are suddenly scrutinizing his frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago.
But when comparing both presidents’ first four months in office, Trump has traveled half the distance Obama did. The Washington Post noted how The New York Times’ Timothy Egan observed this in a recent column. Of course, instead of pointing out how much money that’s saving taxpayers, the two outlets ragged on Trump for treating “the sunset side of the 100th meridian as a foreign country” and traveling “almost exclusively to places where he feels naturally comfortable: Eastern states that voted for him and properties that bear his name.”
The Post drew to maps to compare Trump's 16,000 miles to Obama's 33,000:
The same pattern can be seen in the travels of both administrations secretaries of state. So far, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has far surpassed the president, accruing 49,000 miles of mostly foreign travel. That is to be expected from the State Department head. But compare Tillerson’s numbers to Hillary Clinton’s, and you can see how much more Democrats love to spend other people’s money. Her foreign travels logged 61,000 miles. Here are their charts for comparison:
The Post stated, “On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton boasted about the number of miles she traveled as secretary of state, prompting Carly Fiorina to dismiss the statistic as denoting ‘an activity, not an accomplishment.’” The Post also complained that Trump’s last trip overseas as a candidate was to Scotland where he opened a Trump golf course.
At the end of May, President Trump will make his first official trip overseas to the Middle East.
Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group, is keeping tabs on Trump’s travel just like they did for Obama.
“We’re pleased the Air Force finally gave us some numbers for President Trump’s travel,” JW President Tom Fitton said. “We’re preparing to go to court to get a full accounting of President Trump’s controversial trips. Judicial Watch tracked some of the costs of President Obama’s unnecessary travel and we’re not closing up shop with a new administration.”
At a cost of $142,380 per hour to operate Air Force One, Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago for just two weekends cost taxpayers $1,281,420. That included one stop in Orlando to meet Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and show support for school vouchers at a private Catholic school.
As for the entire eight years for President Obama, JW calculated that taxpayers dolled out an astonishing $96,938,882.51 for the globetrotting style of the Obama family. That was for our own good, of course.