President Donald Trump is now in hot water, with even fellow Republicans saying it could be time to look into his repeated trips to Florida. And now, some reports indicate the commander-in-chief could be on his way to spending more in travel in one year than Barack Obama did in his entire presidency. Washington bureau reporter Alberto Pimienta reports.
On Twitter, and before he was a candidate, President Donald Trump used to call President Barack Obama the "habitual vacationer."
President @BarackObama's vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars----Unbelievable!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2012
But it now seems the tables have turned. Even Republicans say they need to have a conversation about the president's weekend trips to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
"That is something I think that has been bothering not just me, but some other members of our caucus. So I think that is going to be a topic of discussion.," said Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.
Democrats and watchdog groups say each trip to Mar-a-Lago costs around $3 million They base this number on a similar trip made by President Barack Obama to Florida in 2013 with a cost of $3.6 million.
Trump has been to Mar-a-Lago seven times since he became president, so the total would be a little more than $25 million. Based on that sum, Trump could surpass, in one year, the $96 million President Barack Obama spent on travel in eight years.
The White House says those trips are normal.
"Presidents always travel, and I think the president, wherever he goes, he carries the apparatus of the White House with us. That is just something that happens," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on March 30.
According to Florida lawmakers, each Mar-a-Lago trip also costs local authorities more than $1.7 million.
New Jersey could be next. Mar-a-Lago closes for the season on May 14. After that, the president could start making weekend trips to Bedminster, New Jersey, where he also owns a golf club.
Trump used that club to interview cabinet members after he was elected. The small community complained that having the president-elect there was too much.
Authorities there are not only worried about the traffic jams and costs, which they say would be $300,000 per weekend, but local airports are concerned about possible air traffic closures hurting their bottom line.