President Donald Trump plays a round of golf at Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort during the President's first official visit to the United Kingdom on July 15, 2018 in Turnberry, Scotland. (Getty/Leon Neal)

American taxpayers have spent at least $102 million on President Donald Trump's golf tab: report

Trump's ever-rising golf tab thus far totals three times the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe


Matthew Rozsa
May 22, 2019 5:54PM (UTC)

A new report reveals that President Donald Trump has stuck American taxpayers with a $102 million tab as he tees off on his various golf courses.

Since taking office, Trump has forced taxpayers to spend $81 million on his trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, according to HuffPost. The revelation about Trump's expensive golfing habits are noteworthy, given how the current commander-in-chief frequently lambasted his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, over his own golfing hobby.

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Trump has also stuck taxpayers with a $17 million tab for his trips to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey; at least $3 million for his two days in Scotland last summer, $1.3 million of which was for rental cars for his entourage; and $1 million so he could visit his Trump club in Los Angeles.

Thus far, the amount of taxpayer money Trump has spent on his golf totals equals 255 times the presidential salary that he promised not to take, as well as three times the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. And the president has given no indication he intends to slow down.

This is not the first timeTrump's golf habit has been the source of controversy since the former business mogul assumed the presidency. In addition to draining taxpayer dollars, it also represents a potential conflict of interest as the president's personal business empire gains at the taxpayer's expense. The trips to his golf courses also are a source of free publicity for his businesses.

"His top priority with these trips is not the business of the American people — it’s the business of the Trump Organization," Jordan Libowitz of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington told HuffPost. "The American presidency has become another tool to advertise his golf properties."

At least one of Trump's golf clubs also experienced a controversy involving the hiring of undocumented immigrants. Earlier this year, roughly a dozen employees were fired from Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York, due to their immigration status. All of those employees were from Latin America, and their terminations roughly coincided with a story revealing that undocumented immigrants had been employed at Trump's Bedminister golf club. As one housekeeping employee explained to the Washington Post, the club had either been extremely negligent in managing employees' records — or had known about their immigration status and looked the other way until the issue surfaced in the media.

"They said absolutely nothing. They never said, ‘Your Social Security number is bad’ or ‘Something is wrong.' Nothing. Nothing. Until right now," the former employee told the Washington Post.

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In spite of his frequent golf trips, Trump has not apologized for his comments about Obama's golfing. These comments included saying in 2014 that "we pay for Obama's travel, so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf." Later that year, he also tweeted, "Obama has admitted that he spends his mornings watching ESPN. Then he plays golf, fundraises & grants amnesty to illegals."

During the 2016 presidential election he tweeted, "While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster!" Later he also tweeted, "President Obama should have gone to Louisiana days ago, instead of golfing. Too little, too late!"


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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