Newly elected and vastly unpopular by anyone with a conscious, President Trump has coined the phrase “fake news” as his cowardly defense against critics. Being uninformed about nearly everything and being a liar seem to be a running theme for the beginning of this president’s term. Throughout his repetitive behavior of incompetence, there is one aspect that even Trump’s twitter account cannot deny.
During just the first month of his presidency, the enigma that is Donald Trump has managed to surpass the travel expenses of Obama’s average presidential year. With the reputation that this family has established, the shock value of this is unfortunately low. In the span of his presidency, Trump has only spent a mere 11 days actually in the White House, according to CBS News. Instead, he has taken three separate trips to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where his main activity has been golfing for leisure, coincidentally one of his biggest critiques of Obama.
The Washington Post reports that those three trips “probably cost the federal treasury about $10 million, based on figures used in an October government report analyzing White House travel, including money for Coast Guard units to patrol the exposed shoreline and other military, security and staffing expenses associated with moving the apparatus of the presidency.” In addition to this, hundreds of thousands of public dollars spent on Secret Service protection during two international trips Trump’s two adult sons took to promote their father’s business—which he publicly claimed he would cut ties with—cost taxpayers about $11.3 million. The president’s noncompliance to divest from his business affairs is a situation that is already creating suspicion.
The concept of politicians basing their platforms off of lies and inconsistencies is painted throughout history. What is new, though, is the shameless promotion of Ivanka Trump’s clothing brand that has caused a media frenzy in past weeks raising ethical concerns. Kellyanne Conway, one of the president’s top advisors, publicly advertised for the daughter of Trump’s clothing line after several company’s were pressured to drop her line.
Federal ethics rules state that an employee of the government’s executive branch cannot use public office for personal gain or to endorse products or services on behalf of friends or relatives, according to the New York Times.
Another place the Trump family is inhabiting other than the White House is the infamous Trump Tower in New York City where the first lady, Melania Trump, and youngest son, Barron live is estimated to cost $183 million a year, according to CNN. The military is also stationed in the Trump Tower in order to have constant access to the president, a taxpayer cost estimated to be $1.5 million annually.
Eric Trump’s business trip to Uruguay cost taxpayers $97,830 in hotel bills alone, according to the Washington Post. His son’s “business trip” generates free publicity for the Trump Organization, and their appearances at the White House reinforce the idea that conducting business with them is a gateway for access to their father.
Not even a year ago, Trump tweeted “I say we cannot continue to let Obama fly around on Air Force 1, at a cost of millions of dollars a day, for the purpose or politics & play!” Either he has no comprehension of the english language, which is quite probable, or he is riddled with hypocrisy, which is even more probable.
While Trump and his family are gallivanting around the country, he has the audacity to order his team back at the White House to formulate a budget proposal that would cut cultural institutions and important services for poor people. The distinct negligence that is occurring at the cost of taxpayers is not only morally and ethically wrong but illegal.