Coast Guard leaders are bracing themselves for significant cuts as Trump’s most recent budget proposal suggested cutting its budget by 2.4 percent, or $267 million. But there’s one place the Coast Guard is not going to be able to scale down—protecting President Trump’s waterfront Mar-a-Lago club during Trump’s frequent trips down south.
When Trump travels to Mar-a-Lago, which he has done seven weekends of his six-month long presidency, the Washington Post reports that Coast Guard has to deploy “cutters, patrol boats, helicopters, and anti-terror specialists from across the country,” which amounts to about a $1 million cost per trip to protect the Trump-dubbed “Winter White House.”
So far this year, the Coast Guard has spent $6.6 million protecting Mar-a-Lago. And it isn’t the only government department doling out for these trips—according to conservative estimates calculated by Politico based on figures from the Government Accountability Office, the government spends about $3 million per Mar-a-Lago visit when you factor in costs for security and travel on Air Force One in addition to the Coast Guard expenses.
That means that the government has already spent far more this year on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago trips than it has on transition-related health care for transgender service members. Last year, a Pentagon report found that transition-related health care expenses would cost between about $2.4 and $8.4 million per year.
Earlier this week, Trump cited the “tremendous financial costs” and “disruption” that the transgender community has “burdened” the military with when he impulsively tweeted that all transgender Americans would be banned from the military.
Trump’s travel excursions, which are typically to properties he owns, have been raising eyebrows since he first took office. In April, the Hill reported that Trump was already on pace to spend more on travel in 2017 than Obama spent the entire eight years he ran the country.
While members of the conservative media and Trump himself were extremely critical about President Obama’s travel expenses when Obama was in the White House, Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago have been characterized as “necessary to safeguard the president’s work.”
In June, Fox News was still complaining about the lavish trips President Obama is taking, despite the fact that he is no longer in office.