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Judicial Watch, the conservative nonprofit that tracked Obama’s travel, told POLITICO that it plans to file a Freedom of Information Act request on Monday for a full accounting of Trump’s travel costs for the weekend getaway.
He added there are “real costs of going back and forth,” as Trump has said he plans to do regularly throughout his presidency.
But the choice to stay at Mar-a-Lago, which Trump owns, does carry some cost advantages.
“Presidents pay for their own and their families’ lodging, food and incidentals while on vacation, which may be why they generally prefer to stay at properties they own, as guests of wealthy friends or at the official presidential retreat at Camp David,” wrote Scott Farris, ... in the Washington Post in 2014.
But since presidential vacations are always working vacations, taxpayers cover what it takes to keep the commander in chief working. Lodging and meals are an extra cost, but taxpayers pay the salaries of White House staffers and Secret Service agents whether the president stays in Washington or not, so a presidential vacation does not significantly increase personnel costs.