President Donald Trump and his family travel a lot. They do it on the public’s dime. In fact, the immediate Trump family has so far traveled far more on publicly-funded jaunts in just over three years than the entire family of then-president Barack Obama traveled in eight.
A Friday report released by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) notes that the figure of taxpayer-graced travel for the First Family is actually substantially higher than that.
“Last fiscal year, the Trump family took more trips that required Secret Service protection than the Obama family took in seven, according to a budget document released by the Treasury Department,” the study notes.
In total, the Secret Service has protected the Trump family on some 4,000 taxpayer funded trips.
Report authors Walker Davis and Linnaea Honl-Stuenkel note that this equates to a Trump family travel rate 12 times the rate of what Obama and his family traveled with Secret Service protection.
And a great deal of that travel hasn’t been for the public good:
On average, Obama’s family took 133.3 protected trips per year, while the Trump family has taken an average of 1,625 annually. Much of the Trump family’s known travel has been to promote Trump Organization businesses, which President Trump still owns and profits from.
“The Trump family’s extremely high number of protected trips can be partially explained by the fact that Eric [Trump] and Don [Trump] Jr. have traveled the world promoting Trump-branded businesses throughout the Trump presidency,” the report continues. “This explanation does less to settle concerns than to highlight the extent to which the American people are subsidizing the Trump family business.”
This exponential increase in Secret Service-protected travel has allegedly “put a strain on the agency’s budget,” according to the report–which cites a fairly unambiguous Washington Post article from August 2017 titled: “Secret Service says it will run out of money to protect Trump and his family Sept. 30.”
Law&Crime was able to obtain and confirm the underlying data for CREW’s analysis of the two presidential families’ travel.
The numbers are buried in the Department of Homeland Security’s Fiscal Year 2020 Congressional Justification and Budget Overview and the Department of the Treasury’s Congressional Budget Justification and Annual Performance Plan and Report for the 2021 Fiscal Year.
A chart from the former report shows the raw numbers:
In response to the extreme increase of Secret Service-protected travel and spending, CREW called for the Trump family to reimburse the public for any trips related to the promotion of the Trump family business.
“The Trump family has taken more than three thousand protected trips in the last two fiscal years and the Secret Service budget has had to increase massively to accommodate the family’s travels,” the report notes. “We don’t know exactly how many of those trips are related to the Trump business, but the bill is adding up fast. A 12x increase in any budget item is bound to attract attention, and the President’s business should reimburse the Treasury for taxpayers funds spent to support his business directly or indirectly.”
[image via JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images]
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