For the first five months of Donald Trump’s presidency, First Lady Melania Trump stuck around Trump Tower in New York. She hung back so that her son, Barron, could finish his school year uninterrupted and probably also because sometimes when life closes all the doors, a five-month window to be away from your greasy duck à l’orange of a husband opens up.
Yet we, the American people, also became involved in this family matter, because while Melania was clinging to her last moments of freedom, she still racked up over $676,634 of public money flying between New York, Washington, and Florida—between the end of January and April of last year alone.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
While the first lady was living in Trump Tower in Manhattan, Air Force jets made at least 19 trips to LaGuardia Airport in New York and nine trips to Florida’s Palm Beach International Airport to drop off or pick up Mrs. Trump, according to military records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
It should be noted that Trump was not even on board the whole time. It takes time and money to transport the aircraft and the flight crew before and after Trump is done with it. The costs of flights with Trump on board totaled $340,335, and the cost of flights with just the flight crew was $336,299. All of that is startling. Even more startling: If you’re going to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, why the fuck would you fly out of LaGuardia?
Most of Trump’s flights were on military aircraft that costs just over $10,000 per hour to fly. But that almost seems reasonable in light of the priciest trip in the short period:
Mrs. Trump’s most expensive trip cost $106,627, the records show. She took a C-32A, which is the equivalent of a Boeing 757 and costs about $16,000 an hour to fly, according to the rate schedule.
On April 13, a C-32A departed Andrews and flew to LaGuardia to pick up Mrs. Trump, and then departed for Florida, where she met the president and spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. At the Palm Beach airport, Mrs. Trump’s plane was waiting on the tarmac when Air Force One arrived, according to a media pool report. After Mrs. Trump got off the jetliner, it returned to Andrews.
Now, of course, Melania is safely ensconced in the White House, and the public no longer has to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars so the First Lady can (understandably) play hooky from her DayQuil-basted husband.