Do US taxpayers pay security costs arising from presidential leisure outings?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
By Cory Dawson

The U.S. president is protected round-the-clock by taxpayer-funded security. It keeps working through the executive's leisure hours, whether golfing or going to a Broadway show. Flights, lodging, rental vehicles and other logistical support add to the total cost.

The White House does not provide detailed reports, but sometimes indicative data surfaces. A 2017 Government Accountability Office report found that security costs ran about $13.6 million during President Trump's first four trips to stay at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida private club.

Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit, in 2017 estimated that costs totaled $107 million during the Obama presidency. A Broadway night out in 2009 attracted notice, with media estimates that it cost up to $250,000.

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