Records show that President Barack Obama’s Christmas vacation to Hawaii with his family in 2015 cost taxpayers nearly $5 million.
The government watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained records from the U.S. Secret Service that show their agency spent $1.2 million on the trip. Combined with previously obtained expense records, Judicial Watch says the total has been brought to at least $4,823,206.88.
“The Secret Service and the Air Force are being abused by unnecessary travel,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “Unnecessary presidential travel for fundraising and luxury vacations on the taxpayers’ dime would be a good target for reform for the incoming Trump administration.”
The records obtained by Judicial Watch for Obama’s Secret Service travel to Hawaii reveal the following expenses totaling $1,234,316.67:
- Hotel and lodging costs totaled $1,000,458.63
- The Secret Service spent $165,893.88 on car rentals.
- Air and rail expenses totaled $67,964.16.
Although the vacation officially lasted from December 18, 2015, to January 3, 2016, the Secret Service rented several Kailua homes for 19 nights, starting from December 16. The total for the rentals, located near the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay was $245,993.12. According to bills obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Secret Service also paid for rooms at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club. The Secret Service also reserved rooms at the Moana Surfrider resort on Waikiki Beach, and the Ala Moana Hotel, which cost a total of $40,249.48 and $671,895.99, respectively.
The Secret Service rented cars from Avis, Alamo, and Hertz – 103 cars for the two-week vacation, totaling $165,893.88 in taxpayer money.
Reportedly, the Obamas stayed at the Hale Reena Estate, which “rents for anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 a night, depending on the season.”
In addition to this, the Obamas also ate dinner at expensive restaurants, the president played seven rounds of golf, and they also went hiking and snorkeling.
The combined total for all of the Obama family vacations to date is now over $85 million, according to the group.
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