'Winter White House' Trips Have Officially Cost Taxpayers $15 Million

Call him the snowbird president: St. Patrick’s Day weekend will mark the fifth trip Donald Trump has taken to his luxury Mar-A-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, since assuming the presidency. The total price tag for taxpayers was set to hit $15 million, as each presidential getaway reportedly costs the public $3 million, as well as an additional total cost of $1 million for local residents to support protecting Trump since his inauguration.

The first family had their living arrangements split up after the president moved into the White House. First Daughter Ivanka Trump moved to the nearby upscale neighborhood Kalorama in Washington, D.C., while First Lady Melania Trump remained in New York City so her 10-year-old son Barron Trump could continue the school year in Manhattan. It's unclear whether the rest of the family planned on officially moving into their new presidential pad.

Read: Where Is Melania Trump? First Lady Throws Party In White House Despite Not Wanting To Fulfill Duties

Meanwhile, the president has taken to affectionately dubbing his sprawling, membership-only vacation spot as the "Winter White House," where he spent 11 of the first 33 days into his presidency golfing, hosting world leaders like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and hosting parties like the Super Bowl 50 viewing event.


A small group protested as President Donald Trump's motorcade passes by in West Palm Beach, Florida, as Trump prepared to return to Washington after a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, March 5, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Critics have condemned the president for traveling down south so frequently in his first 100 days in the Oval Office, pointing to his previous comments condemning former President Barack Obama for taking vacations during his tenure in elected office.

"I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done," Trump said in a 2015 interview after announcing his campaign for presidency. "I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off."

Meanwhile, Florida officials say they’re concerned Trump dubbing Mar-A-Lago a "Winter White House" will only stand to further burden local residents.

"We’re very honored to have the president here, but at the same time, his travel here is such high frequency he’s not visiting Palm Beach County — he’s governing from it,” Dave Kerner, a county commissioner in Palm Beach, Florida, told Time's Money. "This is not about President Trump; this is not about me being a Democrat. I just want to see that their taxpayer dollars are being used for what they’re for."

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