President Trump is costing the U.S. taxpayer $102 million plus for his golf outings, and because he refused to divest himself of his business interests like all other presidents have done, he is making money off of his outrageous expenditures.
Trump is literally charging the American taxpayer to golf or hang out at his golf club, and pocketing a portion of the money.
S.V. Date analyzed the cost of Trump’s golf outings for Huffington Post, using conservative estimates, noting that not only has he golfed twice as much but his outings cost over 3 times as much as Obama’s, “Trump promised never to golf. Instead, he’s spent more than twice as many days golfing as Obama at the same point, costing taxpayers over three times as much.”
“Donald Trump’s golf habit has already cost taxpayers at least $102 million in extra travel and security expenses, and next month will achieve a new milestone: a seven-figure presidential visit to another country so he can play at his own course.”
Surely Republicans are outraged, after all, they spent 8 years apoplectic over Obama daring to golf while president. And in this case, Trump is using golf to line his own pockets with taxpayer money, funneling his “golf” costs through his own businesses by playing at his own courses in every case but one.
We don’t know how often he is actually golfing, as Trump has gotten into the habit of leaving the White House pool hanging out to wait for him outside of his club grounds. He could be doing anything inside the club, including watching Fox News and eating burgers or taking a nap.
In a further deviation from the norms, on top of all but ending White House briefings, the White House refuses to tell pool with whom Trump is “golfing” or what he is actually doing.
This is the same White House that promised a readout of Trump’s 1.5 hour call with Putin on May 3rd, but has yet to provide it. Readouts of calls with foreign leaders are provided right after the call takes place, normally.
But then, Republicans have jumped the shark on hypocrisy as they justify their president violating the law and taking help from a hostile foreign country to win the 2016 and now 2020 election, as well as their own refusal to protect the United States of America from an ongoing act of cyber warfare.
So much for the ‘Trump doesn’t take a salary’ defense. He’s bilking the taxpayers for his own businesses, which let’s not forget were in a precedent setting state of loss for at least 10 years. He lost more money than any other taxpayer for ten years. Perhaps now Trump has finally found a way to scam his way into the black.
As Date pointed out, “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.”
But surely a squeak from the deficit hawks. Surely a drop of concern over the budget, after all we can’t afford to give migrants a place to sleep or shelter from the sun. We can’t afford to give poor working families any help to feed their kids. We are so broke, we can’t afford money for social security… Surely…
Wait for it…
When asked about these outrageous costs for Trump’s golfing, Wyoming’s Senator John Barrasso, the one who once demanded and got a GAO review for an Obama golf trip, responded to Huffington Post, “I haven’t followed that at all.”
Republican Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who was recently in the news when a comment of his about then President Obama resurfaced in which he said we should send Obama “back home to Kenya or wherever,” dismissed the Trump costs as “rounding errors” to Huffington Post.
Meadows told HuffPo, “There’s a lot more important things to worry about than the rounding errors that we sometimes have on these things.”
Well, let’s see: Obama spent $30 million on out of town golf trips, but Trump has spent $102 million on out of town golf trips. That is not a “rounding error.”
A chunk of that taxpayer money goes into Trump’s own pocket, whereas Obama usually golfed at a military base. Obama did not own a golf course. He was not funneling taxpayer money to his own businesses.
The conflict of interest with Trump’s golf courses is so deep that CREW has an entire timeline devoted to the many instances of conflicts, including how often Trump promotes his properties while being president.
The hypocrisy will absolutely slay you if you focus on it for too long. Luckily for Republicans, they have no values that apply to themselves. They can spend like drunken frat boys, run up the deficit, steal money from the taxpayers after giving the rich a huge tax break, let trickle down Trump trade war costs hurt working families, let migrant children die in our custody while passing bans on abortion because they are “pro-life”, and it’s all fine.
Nothing to see here, folks. Just a scammer doing his scam thing and Republicans enabling it.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.