How much are Trump’s trips to Mar-a-lago?

Watch­dog agency strug­gles to find out

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - CLASSIFIEDS - By Katie Rogers New York Times News Ser­vice

WASHINGTON — The Govern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice set out in 2017 to cal­cu­late the to­tal cost to tax­pay­ers of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s trips to Mara-lago, his re­sort in Palm Beach, Florida, but said in a re­port is­sued Tues­day that it could come up with only a snap­shot of the ex­penses be­cause the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion did not re­spond to re­quests for more in­for­ma­tion.

The agency ended up study­ing only four trips the pres­i­dent took over a onemonth pe­riod in 2017 and found that govern­ment agen­cies, in­clud­ing the De­fense Depart­ment and the Se­cret Ser­vice, spent some $13.6 mil­lion — an av­er­age of over $3 mil­lion for each trip — to trans­port and pro­tect the pres­i­dent, with the bulk of the ex­penses go­ing to cover the cost of mil­i­tary air­craft and boats dur­ing that time.

The tab, of­fi­cials say, is most likely higher since the to­tal ex­penses that ad­min­is­tra­tion mem­bers racked up trav­el­ing, din­ing and stay­ing at the re­sort are not known for the four trips, much less for the 218 days of his pres­i­dency that Trump has spent at one of his properties. Of that to­tal, 78 of the days were spent at Mar-alago.

The GAO of­fi­cials who com­piled the re­port said the White House did not re­spond to three sep­a­rate re­quests for in­for­ma­tion that might help them flesh out travel costs, while the Se­cret Ser­vice and the De­fense Depart­ment had not sub­mit­ted reg­u­lar ac­count­ing of ex­penses to Congress, as is re­quired by the Pres­i­den­tial Pro­tec­tion As­sis­tance Act of 1976.

As a re­sult, the GAO stud­ied only trips Trump took from Feb. 3 through March 5,

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