Donald Trump's golf outings have reportedly cost US taxpayers more than $100 million
When Donald Trump was running for president, he promised voters he wouldn't spend a lot of time golfing. "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 said at a 2016 rally, referring to his golf resorts in Scotland and Florida. "I don't ever think I'd see anything," he added. "I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off."
However, since becoming president in 2017, Trump's golf outings have cost US taxpayers at least $102 million in travel and security expenses, according to a Huffington Post report published Wednesday. Using figures from the Government Accountability Office, the publication estimated the cost of Trump's trips to Florida ($81 million), New Jersey ($17 million), Los Angeles ($1 million), and Scotland ($3 million).
When Barack Obama was president, Trump repeatedly criticized him for playing golf. However, at this state in his presidency, Trump has golfed far more frequently than Obama. In fact, HuffPost estimates that Obama's golf outings cost the US taxpayer $30 million in expenses, which is $70 million less than Trump's golf trips. The report states:
"The $102 million total to date spent on Trump’s presidential golfing represents 255 times the annual presidential salary he volunteered not to take. It is more than three times the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that Trump continually complains about. It would fund for six years the Special Olympics program that Trump’s proposed budget had originally cut to save money.
"While Republicans and Trump himself frequently criticized former President Barack Obama for his golf outings, Trump has spent more than twice as many days on the links, to date, as Obama did at the same point in his first term. And because Trump has insisted on dozens of trips to New Jersey and Florida to play at his resorts there, taxpayers are spending more than three times as much as they did for golf by the same point in Obama’s term."
According to an online tracker, Trump has played golf or visited his clubs in Virginia, New Jersey and Florida more than 175 times since taking office. What's more, if he continues at his current rate and is re-elected, he is projected to golf twice as much as Obama did in eight years. (Which, in turn, will cost the American taxpayer even more money.)
Although Trump has played golf on many occasions at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the White House has defended these trips, claiming he is conducting business. "He is not vacationing when he goes to Mar-a-Lago," a White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, told The Washington Post in 2017. "The president works nonstop every day of the week, no matter where he is." (One wonders if Trump would have bought this statement, had it come from a White House spokesman during the Obama years.)
After all this practice, you'd think that The Donald would be pretty good at the game. However, according to a sportswriter's new book, Trump "cheats like a Mafia accountant" and allegedly once stole a kid's ball to win a championship.