President Donald Trump is set to take his first vacation since assuming office at his own Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. The trip is expected to cost taxpayers more than $3 million, a similar price tag to a much-criticized vacation that former President Barack Obama took in 2013.
On Feb. 3, Trump will fly from the White House to his luxury resort in Florida for a stay of three days, reuniting with First Lady Melania Trump for the first time since his inauguration. He is expected to attend the American Red Cross’ annual fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on Jan. 4.
Based on the trajectory of his trip when compared to a similar flight schedule that Obama had taken in 2013, Trump’s vacation could cost as much as $3.6 million for taxpayers, Politico reports.
The price of that Obama vacation had been estimated by the Government Accountability Office at the request of Republican Sen John Barrasso of Wyoming. Barrasso had blasted Obama for his pricey trip to Florida, asserting that he was “showing little regard for the taxpayer.”
Trump himself had been a vocal critic of Obama’s vacationing, repeatedly tweeting out slams against the former president whenever he took a leisure trip.
“President [Obama]’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars — Unbelievable!” Trump had tweeted out in December 2011. Trump accused Obama of being “the habitual vacationer.”
On the campaign trail, Trump had signaled that his vacation time if elected president would be very sparse. In June 2015, he had pledged to take very few trips for leisure.
“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” Trump said, according to The Hill. “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.”
Obama was also not quite the habitual vacationer when compared to other presidents. Former President Ronald Reagan spent roughly an entire year of his two terms in office vacationing at his home in California. Former President George W. Bush logged 530 days vacationing at his homes in Maine and Texas. Meanwhile, Obama spent only 230 days vacationing during his tenure.
On Feb. 6, the conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch plans to file a request for an accounting of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago vacation under the Freedom of Information Act. The group’s president, Tom Fitton, suggested that Trump should in the future “check out Camp David and see if he can make better use of that.”
Trump’s stay at Mar-a-Lago was almost upset by a planned protest. The March to Mar-A-Lago for Humanity had intended to gather before the resort to protest against the president but had to cancel due to concerns that too many people would attend.
“There was no way to self manage [thousands] of protesters and keep them on sidewalks,” organizer Stephen Milo wrote on the group’s official Facebook page.
Sources: The Hill, March to Mar-a-Lago for Humanity/Facebook, Politico / Photo credit: Emilio Labrador/Flickr