President Trump is fast catching up to former President Barack Obama’s high-spending average for political and leisure travel, racking up $13 million in flight time alone through October, according to a presidential watchdog.
Judicial Watch tallied up new expenses of over $3 million in its latest Freedom of Information Act requests to the Air Force, bringing Trump’s Air Force One bill to $13,533,937.28.
“The president is accountable to the taxpayers – they spend our hard-earned dollars and that’s why Judicial Watch keeps track of certain travel costs,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Trump’s regular trips to his homes are adding up to a hefty sum.”
Over his eight years, Obama spent $114 million, according to Judicial Watch.
The costs do not include security, communications, hotels, car rentals and the prepositioning of other aircraft.
Trump has been criticized for his travel, both because he leaves Washington often for weekends, and because he always stays at his Trump International properties.
The Air Force provided these details to Judicial Watch:
- President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump flew to his Bedminster golf club on June 30 and returned July 3. Flight time was 2.8 hours at $15,994 per hour for a total of $44,783.30.
- President Trump and Melania Trump flew various trips between Bedminster and New York for a vacation on August 4 through August 21. Flight time was 5.9 hours at $15,994 per hour for a total of $94,364.60.
- President Trump flew to Yuma, AZ, to meet with Marines and then attended a campaign rally in Phoenix on August 22. He flew 10.6 hours at $142,380 per hour for a total of $1,509,228.
- President Trump flew to Springfield, MO, on Aug. 30 to appear at a rally as a kickoff for tax reform at the Loren Cook Company. He flew 3.8 hours at $142,380 for a total of $541,044.
- President Trump flew to Huntsville, AL, on September 22 to campaign for Sen. Luther Strange. He then spent the weekend at Bedminster, returning to the White House on September 24. He flew 6.8 hours at $142,380 per hour for a total of $968,184.
- President Trump flew to Bedminster on September 29 through October 1. Flight time was 2.6 hours at $15,994 per hour for a total of $41,584.40.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org