Former President Donald Trump‘s frequent visits to his New Jersey golf resort during his tenure in the White House cost taxpayers more than $2 million—with Trump spending a total of 99 days at the Bedminster club while serving as commander in chief.
NJ.com reported on Saturday that the bill to taxpayers for Trump‘s frequent visits to the Bedminster golf club totaled north of $2.4 million. Trump regularly frequented the club as an escape from the White House, with the number of his visits to the New Jersey property only coming in behind his trips to his residence at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
The news site obtained the information through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The vast majority of the sizable sum went to cover the costs of Secret Service agents’ hotels in the nearby area, with that total coming in at some $1.9 million. The Secret Service spent more than $35,000 on rooms at Trump‘s Bedminister property.
The NJ.com report also noted that the $2.4 million figure does not include the price of Air Force One, which reportedly costs about $142,000 per hour to fly.
A February 2019 report from the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog, said that Trump‘s frequent trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort cost taxpayers even more. That report showed that four trips to the Florida property early in Trump‘s presidency cost a combined $13.6 million—or about $3.4 million each.
Trump‘s frequent trips to his golf resorts drew substantial scrutiny and criticism—particularly because the former president frequently criticized his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, for golfing while serving as president. During his 2016 campaign, Trump claimed he would not have time to play golf if he won the presidency.
“I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” he told supporters.
The former president actually visited golf courses nearly 300 times over the four years of his presidency, according to the website Trump Golf Count. Trump was confirmed to have played golf 150 times while serving in the White House, compared to Obama playing 127 times during his first four years in office.
Last July, Trump defended his golfing and falsely claimed he played less than Obama.
“I know many in business and politics that work out endlessly, in some cases to a point of exhaustion. It is their number one passion in life, but nobody complains. My ‘exercise’ is playing, almost never during the week, a quick round of golf. Obama played more and much longer rounds, no problem,” the former president tweeted at the time.
Newsweek reached out to Trump‘s press office for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.