You’re Paying 10 Times More To Protect Trump Than Obama

The Secret Service has spent $16,000 on golf cart rentalsalone.

You’re Paying 10 Times More To Protect Trump Than Obama

Hunter Stuart

The Secret Service has spent $16,000 on golf cart rentals alone.

Trump used to criticize Obama for charging his “lavish” vacations to the government. “President @BarackObama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars — unbelievable!” he tweeted in 2012.

All presidents are required to bring the Secret Service with them on family vacations — not just Obama. But now that Trump is president, his own getaways are costing taxpayers way more than Obama’s ever did.

The Washington Post recently reported that the three trips Trump made to Mar-a-Lago in January cost the federal treasury about $10 million in security and staffing expenses.

Let’s quickly compare that to what it cost taxpayers to protect Obama while he was in office. JudicialWatch.org, a conservative website based in DC, used federal records to estimate that Obama’s travel expenses over the eight years he was president totaled $96.9 million. That’s about $12 million a year.

A bit of quick math shows that Trump has somehow spent almost as much on travel security on three weekends in Mar-a-Lago as Obama did in an entire year.

The US Secret Service, which is a part of the US Department of Homeland Security, is tasked with protecting the president and his immediate family wherever they go in the world.

Trump is a particularly expensive president to protect because he and his family have extravagant lifestyles even compared to past presidents’. Melania and Barron, for example, choose not to live in the White House, meaning their Fifth Avenue penthouse had to be fortified and provided with round-the-clock protection. It costs the city of New York about $500,000 a day—or $15 million a month—to protect the building. (By contrast, the Chicago Tribune reported in 2009 that the city spent about $275,000 a month to protect Obama’s house in Kenwood while he was president.)

A Secret Service agent scans the crowd while Trump gives a speech in Scranton, PA in July. | John Moore/Getty Images

In addition, the Secret Service has to accompany Trump’s sons everywhere they go, even when they jet around the world to promote their condos, golf courses and other private business interests. Recent trips by Eric Trump to Uruguay and by Eric and Don Trump, Jr. to Dubai have reportedly cost America hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Trump himself also delights in a pleasure trip or two. An investigative journalist at CNN reported earlier this week that the Secret Service has spent over $16,000 on golf cart rental charges since Trump’s inauguration in order to keep up with his frequent rounds of golf.

Protecting presidents is expensive. Air Force One costs $207,000 per hour to fly. Armored SUVs and limos must be flown on cargo planes to any city a president visits. Any time a POTUS goes golfing—which they pretty much all do — the Secret Service has to sweep the bushes along the course for snipers.

Obama with Secret Service agents in Tampa in 2012. | Saul Loeb/Getty Images

Sometimes, Secret Service agents need to hire Colombian prostitutes in order to relax after a hard day’s work. (Just kidding, they absolutely don’t need to do that and disgraced the nation when they did.)

The Obamas weren’t cheap to protect: Their 2013 Christmas vacation to Hawaii cost the treasury over $315,000. Ironically, an Earth Day speech Obama gave in Florida in 2015 reportedly cost $867,000 for air travel alone.

Bush was expensive, too: On a trip to Europe in 2008, he brought 250 Secret Service agents with him. In total, the trip reportedly cost about $20 million.

Bush on his ranch in Crawford, Texas in 2002. | georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov

Even so, Trump’s spending appears to be off the charts. Though the Secret Service keeps its expenditures confidential (unless it gets sued for them), The Washington Post estimated that over the course of four years, the cost to protect Trump and his children (and grandchildren) could balloon to hundreds of millions of dollars.

The worst news for taxpayers? Even if Trump gets voted out of office in 2020, the agency is still required to protect him for the rest of his life.

The Secret Service did not respond to Dose’s request for comment for this story.