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Donald Trump's weekend Mar-a-Lago getaways 'cost taxpayers $3 million'

The US President has dubbed the resort, the 'Winter White House' 

Will Worley
Monday 20 February 2017 13:32 GMT
Donald Trump entertaining Japanese PM Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, Florida
Donald Trump entertaining Japanese PM Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, Florida (Getty)

He may have dubbed it the "Winter White House", but Donald Trump's trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida could be costing the US taxpayer more than $3 million (£2.4m) per visit.

A 2013 trip by President Obama to nearby Palm Beach via Chicago cost an estimated $3.6million (£2.8m), according to an estimate by the Government Accounting Office.

Along with the security costs, flights for Mr Trump, his family and his staff, the bill would likely include expenses for the Coast Guard to patrol exposed shoreline - which Mar-a-Lago also backs on to.

Local police have also reportedly spent $360,000 (£288,800) on officers overtime, on the three weekend visits Mr Trump has made to the resort three times during his short presidential term.

How do the town where 93 per cent voted for Trump think he's doing after one month?

The White House has declined to comment on the cost of Mr Trump's weekend excursions.

The President has nonetheless said that he intends to use the resort to host world leaders.

He has already received Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, while paying club guests also mingled on the premises.

The guests remained while the leaders attempted to deal with a North Korean missile launch from a dining table.

The costs have been criticised by a conservative monitor which tracks Presidential expenses.

“This is an expensive way to conduct business, and the President should recognise that," said Tom Fitton, the group's president. "The unique thing about President Trump is that he knows what it costs to run a plane."

A Democratic Party Congresswoman also raised safety concerns about the resort.

“Mar-a-Lago is no Camp David,” said Lois Frankel, who represents nearby Palm Beach. “It’s not set up with the intention or the forethought of keeping the president safe.”

Along with the Florida expenses the cost of policing New York's Trump Tower, where First Lady Melania Trump lives with their son, Barron, is running at $500,000 (£401,200) a day, according to the city's police force.

Officials in the city fear the total costs of guarding the building could add up to $183million (£146.8m) a year, according to the NY Daily News.

The City has requested $35million (£28 million) to help cover the costs, but has only received $7 million (£5.6 million) so far.

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer called for a further contribution to the President’s security costs.

"We all know that it is a national responsibility of the federal government to protect the President. And that’s as it should be,” he told journalists. “But right now, New York City taxpayers are paying a huge amount of money to protect the President and the Trump Tower.

“This is his responsibility and I hope the President will step up to the plate.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to track all costs associated with the security of Trump Tower during the Presidency.

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