You can approach this story either by wondering about your return on investment, or as a citizen whose tax dollars are being spent so that Donald Trump can play golf and promote his own businesses. Take your pick.
Trump’s behavior during a trip overseas this week isn’t surprising. But it also shouldn’t become normalized.
HuffPost reported that Trump’s three-day visit to his golf resort in Ireland this week cost taxpayers $3.6 million for no other reason than the president wanted to play golf, avoid Dublin, and boost one of his businesses.
The only official reason Trump cited for his travel to Ireland was a brief visit with Ireland’s minister of state for trade, Pat Breen, which took place near an airport food court. And even during that meeting, Trump reportedly discussed his Trump International Golf Links resort in Doonbeg, according to HuffPost. The news site also noted that the meeting with the trade minister was added after the White House already had scheduled the president’s trip to Doonbeg.
Trump easily could have stayed in London on Wednesday night before heading to Normandy on Thursday to deliver his speech on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and it would have been closer. Instead, he stayed in Doonbeg on Wednesday, where he likely played golf, although reporters weren’t allowed near the resort to confirm, flew to Normandy on Thursday, and then back again to Ireland. This detour added well over 1,000 extra flight miles to the official trip.
With the additional travel costs of flying the planes that were used as Air Force One; the need to transport U.S. Marine Corps helicopters and presidential limousines to Ireland in addition to England and France; and the State Department expenses, the Ireland excursion cost taxpayers at least $3.6 million more than if Trump had stayed in London on Wednesday night and returned to Washington from France on Thursday, according to a HuffPost analysis.
That would bring the total for Trump’s golf vacations during his 2 1/2 years in office to $105.8 million.
Also, for some perspective, $3.6 million is about what taxpayers spend each time Trump visits his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, which he refers to as the “Southern White House,” which is definitely not the people’s house.
As with anything related to Trump, an opportunity to make a buck is never overlooked. HuffPost subsequently busted the Doonbeg resort using video of Trump teeing off for promotional materials on social media. They also posted video of Air Force One landing. But the resort took those videos down after the news site began asking questions about them. I wonder why they did that.
The videos are now on YouTube:
Trump spent over $16,000 on golf cart rentals in Ireland, along with over $10,000 on phone lines and $1 million for four limousines he may or may not have used. His adult sons enjoyed a pub crawl, bought drinks for the house, and walked out on the bill. Typical Trump behavior.
Back in the U.S. on Saturday, Trump once again visited the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, his 259th day at a Trump property as president.