Trump’s 17-Day Taxpayer-Funded Promotional Tour

The hypocrisy of Trump’s frequent golf trips to his properties in Virginia, New Jersey, and Florida at taxpayer’s expense, is no secret. Despite years of attacking past Presidential vacations and vowing he would never take one if elected, Trump doubled-up President Obama’s travel away from the White House over their first 200 days in office, while putting himself on pace to exceed Obama’s 8 years-worth of taxpayer-funded travel spending in his first year, alone.
The starkest difference between the two presidents as far as “vacation” days are concerned — beyond Trump’s increased time spent golfing, superior drain on taxpayer resources for his family’s travel, and general hypocrisy on the issue (including that he keeps getting caught lying about how he’s not golfing but busy with “meetings”) — is that Trump has spent his time at businesses he owns, turning the trips into promotional tours that funnel taxpayer dollars into Trump family bank accounts while selling access to the presidency.
Case in point: the millions more Trump made off of Mar-a-Lago last year, after he hiked membership feesadvertised the club on a State Department-run websitecrashed a few weddings, and turned the club’s terrace dining room into an “open-air situation room.” As Washington Examiner commentary editor Timothy Carney put it back in March: “It’s literally pay to play at Mar-a-Lago.”

Donald Trump famously bragged to Forbes magazine in 2000 that he could be the first person to run for president and make money off the effort (and he did and continues to pay himself millions in campaign dollars). And now that Trump is in the White House, he’s doing everything he can to continue profit off selling access to the presidency — just look at the latest wedding Trump crashed over the weekend — while pouring our tax dollars into his own pocket. 

Here’s a look at Trump’s past statements on taking vacations:

Trump:  Successful People “Don’t Really Take Vacations.”  “But the fact is, most of the people I know that are successful really don’t take vacations. Their business is their vacation. I rarely leave. You know that. You and I are friends. How often do you see me going away? I never go away. I love it.  Now, I’ll go down to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. But I own Mar-a-Lago, it’s a very successful club, and I’ll work. I go crazy when I have to go away for a couple of days on a vacation. So, if you really love what you’re doing, you never take vacations. You know, when I go away I end up buying something in the community that I go away to. So, I’m always sort of working.”  [“Larry King Live,” CNN, 11/24/04]

Trump Said Barack Obama’s Vacations “Sends A Very, Very Bad Message.” “Greta Van Susteren: What does — I mean, obviously, that doesn’t sound a — send a good message if, indeed, the American people think that he likes a, quote, ‘vacation.’ Donald Trump: Well, I mean, it sends a bad message. Here we have a country that really is going to hell in a handbasket. Let’s not kid ourselves. What’s happening to this country is horrible. All over the world, they’re talking about it. And we have a president that’s constantly — whether it’s Martha’s Vineyard or some place else, constantly on vacation. I mean, all the time he’s on vacation! So I think it sends a very, very bad message. We have to work in this country to bring it back.” [“On The Record,” Fox News, 8/15/11]

Trump:  “I’ve Never Been A Big Vacation Person.” “Greta Van Susteren:  Would you take a vacation now if you were president or are you in the House or the Senate in light of all the demands on all those offices and where we stand? Donald Trump: I probably wouldn’t. I have never been a big vacation person. When I take vacations I go to my places, whether it’s Doral in Miami or Los Angeles on the ocean. I can do it in a half a day I’ve got my vacation.” [“On The Record,” Fox News, 8/13/13]

Trump On Golfing: “There Are Times To Play It And There Are Times You Can’t Be Doing It Because You Have To Be Doing Other Things” “Well he is playing golf, and I love golf, but there are times to play it and there are times you can’t be doing it because you have to be doing other things.” [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 6/16/14]

 Trump On Obama Golfing: “I Think It’s A Terrible Picture And It’s All Over The World And People Are Upset By It.”  “The fact is that it’s a terrible time. You have a beheading and then immediately after the new conference you run off to the golf course. The pictures of him smiling all over the place are terrible… This is a bad time to play golf he could have waited a day or two days. He played after the bombing started and right after the beheading. I think it’s a terrible picture and it’s all over the world and people are upset by it.” [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 8/25/14

Trump On Obama’s Golfing:  “We Have Someone, It’s Almost As If He Doesn’t Like The Position. He Likes Campaigning But That’s It. We Have A President That Seems He Doesn’t Want To Be There.” ““And frankly he is blaming the media. He is really blaming all of you for his going out and playing golf. Look nobodies likes and respects golf more than I do. I think golf is a great thing and a great game, but there is a time and place for everything. And an American reporter had his head chopped off and he’s on the fareway 15 minutes later after his news announcement. He couldn’t wait to get his clothing off fast enough to put on a golf outfit. And of course he doesn’t wear a tie usually, I don’t know if he was wearing a tie then. The whole thing is just ridiculous. We have someone, it’s almost as if he doesn’t like the position. He likes campaigning but that’s it. We have a president that seems he doesn’t want to be there.”  [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 9/8/14]

Trump: “You Would Say If You Are The President Of The United States And You Only Have Two Years To Go, You Should Be Working Your Ass Off And Do It Right. You Shouldn’t Be Taking Vacations. Do It Right.” “You know it’s interesting if you are the President of the United States, it’s such a great honor. It’s such an important place, such an important thing to be. He’s going to be there for another two years. You’d think never want to leave the White House. You’d think he’d want to be there all the time. There is plenty of time to play golf… but you think if you are the president for another 2 years. You have the chance to do something great, why would you be out vacationing? It’s not just golfing, he’s always vacationing. And these vacations cost us 40-5-60 million dollars every time he travel, with the big planes and the entourage. You would say if you are the president of the United States and you only have two years to go, you should be working your ass off and do it right. You shouldn’t be taking vacations. Do it right. He is going to be taking vacations for the rest of his life. Do it right. He shouldn’t be leaving the White House or leave the White House on a mission, not to play golf.” [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 9/15/14]

Trump Criticized Barack Obama For Taking “All These Vacations And All The Fundraisers, And On Our Dime.” “I You wouldn’t think that that is something — that’s not something — a P.R. person says, that’s not a good time for you to be playing golf. That’s really bad. That was just bad. It just looks to me like he is tired of the position. I may be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. He has got two more years as president. To take all these vacations and all the fundraisers, and on our dime.” [“On the Record,” Fox News, 10/6/14]

Trump On Golfing: “When You’re President You Sort Of Say I’m Going To Give It Up For A Couple Years, And Focus On The Job.” “He played a lot of golf, there is no question about it, And when you’re president you sort of say I’m going to give it up for a couple years, and focus on the job. How about right after the beheading he walks right outside and tees it up. There are times to play golf and there times you can’t to play. It certainly sends the wrong signals. He plays a lot of golf.” [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 10/13/14]

Trump:  “Who Wants To Go On Vacation When You’re President?  You’re In The White House. You Stay In Your Command Center.”“Forget about optics, it’s not good. You think that you’re president and you’re going to be there for another almost two years, you’d think you’d never leave. Who wants to go on vacation when you’re president?  You’re in the white house. You stay in your command center.”  [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 2/16/15]

Trump On Obama’s Golfing:  “It’s Not Good Because He Should Be Doing Other Things.”  “This guy played hundreds of rounds of golf. I shouldn’t complain. I own golf courses all over the world. So I shouldn’t be angry at him. It’s good — except it’s not good because he should be doing other things.”  [Donald Trump, First in the Nation Summit, Nashua, NH, 4/18/15]

Trump Promised To Stay In The White House “All The Time Working, Working” Instead Of Traveling To New York.  “I mean, the other night in New York, New York was shut down because Obama’s here to go to a Broadway play. He’s here to, you know, when you’re in the White House for a limited period of time, I’d be there all the time working, working.” [“Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN, 7/22/15]

Trump On Obama Golfing “He Plays More Golf Than Any Human In America.”“Certainly play a lot of golf. If that was a Republican conservative playing they wouldn’t be saying that, they would be saying how much he plays. Because if I’m being honest he probably plays more golf than any human in America, and that’s a good thing for me because I own a lot of golf courses…. He may play more golf than any human in America and I’m not sure that’s good for the president.”  [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 10/5/15]

Trump Said Barack Obama Couldn’t Negotiate With Congress Because “He’s Spending Three Weeks Playing Golf In California.” “You’re supposed to get along with Congress and cajole and get into a room and work out deals and make compromises. He doesn’t do that. Because he’s unable to do it because he’s spending three weeks playing golf in California. You know, it’s hard to do that when playing golf all day long. He spent – like he’s on the PGA tour. He plays so much golf.” [“Fox and Friends,” Fox News, 1/3/16]

Trump Criticized Obama For Taking Vacation And “Not Exactly Trying Very Hard To Get It Done.” “Chris Cuomo: What do you do when the other side doesn’t want to negotiate and you find something you want to do that you think is right. Then what do you do.  Donald Trump: He’s been away for two weeks playing golf. He’s not exactly trying very hard to get it done.”  [“New Day,” CNN, 1/4/16

Trump Said If He Was Elected President He Would Never See His Golf Courses Again Because “I Just Want To Stay In The White House And Work My Ass Off And Make Great Deals.” “I have the greatest stuff, but you know what – and I love golf, but if I were in the White House, I don’t think I’d ever see Turnberry again. I don’t think I’d ever see Doral again. I own Doral in Miami. I don’t think I’d ever see many of the places that I have. I don’t ever think I’d see anything. I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off and make great deals. Who’s going to leave? Who’s going to leave?” [Donald Trump, Rally, Portsmouth, NH, 2/4/16]

Trump:  “Obama Likes Relaxing And Going On Vacations. Me, I Like Working.” “Obama likes relaxing and going on vacations. Me, I like working. I like working. I really do. I like it!” [Donald Trump, Rally, Warren, MI, 3/4/16]

Trump:  “If You’re At The White House, And You Have So Much Work To Do, Why Do You Fly, Why Do You Leave So Much?” “There’s no time for vacation. We’re not going to be big on vacation. You know, there’s so many things. It’s sort of interesting, Chris, the White House is like this incredible place. It represents so much and you’re there for a limited period of time. If you’re at the White House, and you have so much work to do, why do you fly, why do you leave so much? You’d think you’d want to work, work, work, straighten it out, get it done, fix it up, make it great and then when you’re finished you can be proud.” [Donald Trump, Rally, Hickory, NC, 3/13/16]

Trump:  “I Promise You, I Won’t Be Taking Very Long Vacations.”  “Yet he’ll fly to Hawaii on a Boeing 747 to play golf. No he doesn’t want to change. He’ll have an environmental meeting but he’ll fly to play golf in Hawaii on a Boeing 747 with the very old engines that are spewing stuff and then he’ll come back after a long time. I promise you, I won’t be taking very long vacations.” [Donald Trump, Rally, Hickory, NC, 3/13/16]

Trump:  “If You Want Vacations, You’re Not Really In The Right Business.”  [Donald Trump, Rally, DePere, WI, 3/30/16]

Trump:  “I Don’t Take Vacations Like Obama.”  “I don’t take vacations like Obama. His whole life — the guy takes a six-month vacation twice a year. It’s terrible.” [Donald Trump, Rally, Warwick, RI, 4/25/16]

Trump:  “I’m Going To Be Working For You. I’m Not Going To Have Time To Go Play Golf.”  [Donald Trump, Rally, Ashburn, VA, 8/2/16]

Trump:  “I Won’t Be Playing Golf Instead Of Going To See The People In Louisiana Who Have Been Devastated By Floods.” “I will work hard to be your champion and I won’t be playing golf instead of going to see the people in Louisiana who have been devastated by floods.”  [Donald Trump, Rally, Jackson, MS, 8/24/16]

Trump:  Obama “Goes Out And Plays So Much Golf That He Doesn’t Have Time To Convince Congress And Do It The Way It’s Supposed To Be Done.”  “[Obama] goes out and plays golf so much that he doesn’t have time to convince Congress and do it the way it’s supposed to be done. He’s played more golf than most people in the PGA tour.” [Donald Trump, Rally, Manchester, NH, 11/7/16]

Trump: “I Don’t Think We’ll Be Very Big On Vacations.” “”There’s just so much to be done, so I don’t think we’ll be very big on vacations, no.” [“60 Minutes,” CBS, 11/13/16]

Trump Said He “Doesn’t Go Too Much For The Vacations Because I’m Bored.”  [“Hannity,” Fox News, 1/26/17]

Trump On Passing Health Care In July 2017:  “We Have To Stay Here, We Shouldn’t Leave Town.” “So my message today is really simple: We have to stay here, we shouldn’t leave town, and we should hammer this out and get it done. And not just a repeal.” [Trump Remarks At Lunch With Republican Senators On Health Care, Washington DC, 7/19/17]

Trump:  “I Don’t Think We Should Leave Town Unless We Have A Health Insurance Plan.”  “People are hurting. Inaction is not an option, and frankly I don’t think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we can give people great health care. Because we’re close, we’re very close.” [Trump Remarks At Lunch With Republican Senators On Health Care, Washington DC, 7/19/17]