As of the end of 2017, President Donald Trump has visited a namesake property on one-third of his days in office. And he’ll ring in 2018 by not only continuing to host his annual New Year’s Eve bash despite being elected president, but raising the ticket prices to boot.
Trump — who is spending his holiday vacation at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida — tweeted on Christmas that he would get “back to work in order to Make America Great Again” starting December 26. Instead, the president has been seen hitting up his golf course every day since that tweet.
Breaking it down, Trump has cumulatively spent 116 days of his presidency visiting a Trump property, 90 days of which were spent on a golf course, according to a NBC News counter. In comparison, Obama golfed 333 days over the course of his eight-year presidency.
The leader of the free world is entitled to golfing, just as any of the presidents before him. However, it would be disingenuous to turn a blind eye to the president’s years-long criticism of his predecessor’s golfing habits.
Trump rarely passed up the chance to criticize Obama for his golfing adventures. Neither have other Republican lawmakers who have since remained silent about Trump’s vacations. In June 2015, at the start of his presidential campaign, then-Republican presidential candidate Trump said you’d find him hard at work in the White House if elected president.
“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” Trump said at the time. “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.”
Flash forward to December 2017, Trump has not only visited his namesake properties at a dizzying rate, but has cost taxpayers millions of dollars with his travel expenses that include Coast Guard and Secret Service protection. Taxpayers have shelled out at least $6.6 million in 2017 for the president’s Secret Service protection, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The president’s travel to his own properties has prompted ethics concerns over monetizing his public office for private gain. Initiation fees for Mar-a-Lago have doubled to $200,000 since his election, with annual dues up from $1,000 to $15,000 this season, Politico reported. And tickets for the New Year’s Eve bash at Mar-a-Lago will run $600 for members and $750 for guests, according to the publication. Last year, it cost members $525 per ticket, while their guests paid $575.