Donald Trump’s golf excursions have now cost American taxpayers an estimated $115 million in costs related to travel and security and that equals out to 287 years of presidential salary.
Adding insult to injury hundreds of thousands maybe even millions of those dollars have gone directly into Trump’s pockets due to Secret Service agents, White House staff and other Trump administration officials eating, golfing and staying at his hotels and golf resorts.
The exact amount has not been officially determined because the White House refuses to disclose how many of Trump’s aides have stayed at his businesses when he visits them nor will they supply receipts for those visits.
Several lawsuits filed by news organizations and watchdog groups against other executive branch agencies have revealed payments totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in violation of the Constitution’s domestic emoluments clause. The clause prohibits Trump from accepting benefits beyond his salary from the federal or any state government.
Earlier this year ProPublica discovered that Mar-a-Lago charged taxpayers $546 a night for rooms three times the per-diem rate and the maximum allowed by federal rules for 24 Trump administration officials who stayed at the resort while Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting back in 2017. Taxpayers also paid a bar tab of $1,006.60 for 54 top shelf drinks ordered by White House staff.
The government watchdog Property of the People revealed payments that totaled $254,021 from the Secret Service to various Trump properties in just the first five months of his presidency. During that time period, Trump had golfed 25 times.
As of last week, Trump has spent 223 days on his golf courses.
“It’s becoming abundantly clear that Donald Trump uses his presidency as a way to put money into his pocket,” said Jordan Libowitz of the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “The issue isn’t that he likes golf. The issue is that he has spent a huge amount of his presidency making promotional appearances at his struggling golf courses, and leaving taxpayers to foot the bill.”
Trump had repeatedly criticized then-President Barack Obama for playing golf during his presidency.
“I play golf to relax. My company is in great shape. @BarackObama plays golf to escape work while America goes down the drain,” Trump tweeted in December 2011.
I play golf to relax. My company is in great shape. @BarackObama plays golf to escape work while America goes down the drain.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2011
While campaigning Trump stated that he would be too busy working to make time to play golf.
“I love golf, but if I were in the White House, I don’t think I’d ever see Turnberry again. I don’t think I’d ever see Doral again,” he stated during a rally in February 2016, “I don’t ever think I’d see anything. I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off.”