- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2017

Two of President Trump’s flights to his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida cost taxpayers more than $1.2 million, according to records obtained by a government watchdog group.

Judicial Watch announced Thursday that Air Force records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request showed the two weekend trips in February and March cost $142,380 per hour to operate Air Force One.

Mr. Trump has made scores of trips to his club in Palm Beach, Florida, which he nicknamed the “Southern White House.”

Air Force records show a total of nine hours for trips from Feb. 3-6 and March 3-6. The March trip involved a stop in Orlando where Mr. Trump met Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to tour a private Catholic school to illustrate the benefits of school voucher programs.

In the February trip, Air Force One traveled 4.7 hours of flight time at a cost of $142,380 per hour for a total of $669,186. In the March trip, Air Force One flew 4.3 hours at $142,380 per hour for a total of $612,234, which includes the Orlando stopover, an additional half-hour of flight costs, according to Judicial Watch.

Mr. Trump isn’t the first president to encounter criticism for the cost of his travel. President Obama was criticized for vacationing in Hawaii and making frequent political trips to California. However, Mr. Trump has recorded a unusually high volume of weekend travel in his first few month in office.

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