President Donald Trump frequently uses his luxury properties for government business and leisure, prompting ethics concerns over a president appearing to promote his private enterprise at public cost.
On Saturday, the president, who is spending the holiday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, hit the links at his nearby golf club for the seventh day — a streak only interrupted by Christmas Day on Dec. 25.
NBCNews.com and the NBC News White House unit are tracking Trump’s visits to his properties and golf courses since his inauguration.
Days in Office: 350
Days at Trump Properties: 117
Days at Golf Properties: 91
Where does Trump go?
Trump’s trips have so far been concentrated in Palm Beach, Florida. He also took a 17-day “working vacation” in August, spending 15 days at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club and two days at Trump Tower in Manhattan. He also frequents his golf course in Sterling, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. — and sometimes will visit multiple properties on the same day.
Trump Property Days: Mar-a-Lago 45
Trump International Hotel Washington, DC 7
Trump Golf Course: Trump International West Palm 27
Trump National Jupiter 1
Trump National Potomac Falls 23
Trump National Bedminster 39
How many times has Trump gone golfing as president?
Trump has visited his golf clubs nearly 90 times in his first year.
However, the precise number of times Trump has actually played golf is difficult to track. His administration has tried to hide Trump’s activity, keeping his traveling press pool away and often refusing to confirm whether he has played golf. Instead, social media has become a source of crowd-sourced reporting into the president’s whereabouts.
But more than four months into his term, Trump has visited golf courses at a faster clip than his three most recent predecessors, according to The New York Times. Politifact reports that as of November 2017, Trump is confirmed to have golfed 35 times, while at the same point in his presidency, Obama had golfed just 11 times.
During the campaign, Trump argued that Americans should vote for him because he would rarely leave Washington. He promised that he wouldn’t go golfing or take vacations because there was too much work to do.
And prior to his run for president, Trump spent years attacking President Barack Obama for golfing and taking vacations while in office.
Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
When does Trump visit his properties?
With the exception of his 15-day stay at his golf resort in Bedminster, Trump usually frequents his properties on weekends. Trump has referred to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, as the “Southern White House” — and that’s where he’s hosted foreign leaders like President Xi Jinping of China and directed the launch of a strike against a Syrian airbase. His most recent visit, however, was over the Christmas holiday, which featured near-daily jaunts to nearby Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.
How much does Trump’s travel cost?
The president’s trips can cost taxpayers millions of dollars because of the use of Air Force One and the expenses of the Secret Service, the Air Force, local sheriff’s departments, the Coast Guard and other agencies. However, a precise accounting can’t be made because the expenses aren’t required to be disclosed.
In response to a recent report in USA Today that Secret Service’s funding problems were partly caused by the president’s large family and their multiple, oft-visited Trump properties both in the U.S. and overseas, agency director Randolph “Tex” Alles said it was not an issue “that can be attributed to the current Administration’s protection requirements alone.”
Presidents other than Trump incurred similar questions about travel costs. Much of what is known about Obama’s travel costs was obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which aggressively sought receipts through Freedom of Information Act requests. In October 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its own report breaking out the costs of one specific trip taken by Obama, finding that a trip to Chicago and Florida cost $3.6 million.