- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A government watchdog group said recently obtained records show that the entourage that accompanied President Obama and his wife to Ireland in June cost taxpayers a total of $7.9 million.

That includes first lady Michelle Obama’s sightseeing stop in Dublin with her two daughters, several staffers and security members, Judicial Watch reported Wednesday, citing FOIA documents.

The flights alone — 33.6 hours for the three-day trip — came in at $228,288 per hour, for a total of $7.67 million, Judicial Watch reported. Add in the cost of “security and/or other services” for Mrs. Obama’s tour of Dublin — $251,161 for the travel, $55,004 for the stay at the Shelbourne Hotel and $70,855 for rooms at the Westbury Hotel, as well as vehicle rental costs of $114,721 — and the travel total comes in at $7,921,638, Judicial Watch reported..

“It is clear that the Obamas’ abused the perk of the president’s official trip to the G-8 summit for a luxury,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “And it is shameful that it took a federal lawsuit to obtain this information. Transparency goes by the wayside for the Obamas when it comes to covering up their abuse of taxpayer resources.”

Judicial Watch previously documented that the Obama family spent $1.16 million for flights to Martha’s Vineyard in August for a vacation. The group also reported that the Obamas spent $8.01 million in flight costs during their official trip to Africa in late June.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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