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Obama, Biden Presidents’ Day Weekend Vacations Cost Taxpayers $295,437 According to Records Obtained by Judicial Watch


New documents reveal Michelle Obama and daughters spent more than $1,000,000 on 2011 six-day trip to Africa, including a private family safari.  


(Washington, DC)Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained U.S. Secret Service records from the Department of Homeland Security detailing expenditures of $295,437.04 by President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden during separate luxury vacations over the 2013 Presidents’ Day Weekend.  A separate group of documents show that taxpayers paid more the $1,000,000 for Michelle Obama’s controversial 2011 trip to South Africa and Botswana.


President Obama spent the Presidents’ Day Weekend (February 15-18) on a golf trip in West Palm Beach, Florida. First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters spent the same holiday weekend on a ski trip in Aspen, Colorado. Vice President Biden and his family spent that weekend skiing in Aspen.


Judicial Watch obtained the vacation documents pursuant to a June 21, 2013, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service. According to the billing records:


  • Transportation and lodging costs for the President’s trip totaled $98, 135.79.  This includes $32,406.50 for the flights, $16,466.25 for rental cars, and $48,490 for hotel rooms.


  • The vacation costs for First Lady Michelle Obama totaled $81,523.64, including $13,221.30 in flights, $3,925 in rental cars, and $64,377.34 in lodging.


  • The expenses for Vice President Biden’s weekend in Aspen totaled $115,777.61, including $5,315 in flights, $92,596 in accommodations, and $17,866.61 in rental cars.


On October 4, 2011, Judicial Watch obtained documents pertaining to the full costs of the June 21-27, 2011 trip taken by Michelle Obama, her family, and her staff to South Africa and Botswana. According to the records obtained from the United States Air Force through a FOIA lawsuit, during the six-day trip, the First Lady and her entourage spent $668.702.01, including hotel and lodging costs of $430,614.18.  The trip ended with a private family safari at a South African game reserve.  The $668,702.01 was in addition to the $424,142 taxpayers were billed for the cost of the flight and crew alone, according to earlier documents obtained by Judicial Watch.


“The Obamas and Vice President Biden are oblivious to the costs to taxpayers for their vacation travel,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And the stonewalling over releasing these travel numbers suggests that the Obama administration is embarrassed by the personal travel of President Obama and Vice President Biden.”



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