According to a recent HuffPost report, President Trump has spent at least $102 million in taxpayer money on golf vacations at resorts he owns.
To put that figure in perspective, that’s more than three times as much as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation into Trump, even according to the highest estimates (approximately $31 million).
Roughly two dozen of Trump’s golf vacations have taken place at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which have cost taxpayers more than $80 million since Trump took office in January of 2017. An additional 15 golf vacations to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey cost taxpayers $17 million. HuffPost also found that Trump spent another million in tax dollars to visit his Los Angeles resort, and two golf vacations in Scotland last year cost at least $3 million.
To compare, the Mueller investigation cost roughly $17 million, according to financial documents the special counsel’s office published every few months of its 22-month probe. When accounting for additional spending from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to support the probe, the cost of the investigation goes up to approximately $31 million. However, the UK-based Independent reports that those expenditures would have taken place regardless of the Mueller investigation, so in theory, Trump’s golf vacations may have ended up costing the equivalent of six Mueller probes.
But as USA Today has previously reported, the Mueller probe may end up bringing in more money in assets seized than it spent. Federal authorities could end up seizing properties worth more than $26 million — largely as a result of the prosecution of Paul Manafort — which President Trump’s former campaign chairman acquired as a result of illicit activity. Aside from Manafort, the Mueller investigation could also end up acquiring nearly $2 million in other assets as a result of the probe’s various guilty pleas and convictions.
Prior to his press conference in the Rose Garden on Wednesday, a White House official placed a poster over the presidential lectern where Trump spoke that attacked the Mueller investigation by pointing out its cost, along with the unproven statements that Trump did not collude with Russia or obstruct justice. Over the course of the investigation, Mueller and his prosecutors convicted nearly 40 people, including eight Americans, 13 Russian nationals, 12 Russian intelligence officers, three Russian companies, and two other individuals.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.