Judicial Watch: Obama Family 2015 Honolulu Christmas Vacation Cost Taxpayers $3,590,313 in Flight Expenses Alone
MARCH 30, 2016
Obama 2014 and 2015 trips to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Palm City, Florida, cost taxpayers at least $286,416 in Secret Service expenses
Known travel expenses for the Obamas and Vice President Joe Biden have exceeded $78,003,292.44
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained records from the Department of the Air Force revealing the Obama family 2015 Christmas vacation to Honolulu, Hawaii, cost the taxpayers $3,590,313.60 in flight expenses alone. According to the Air Force records, the Obamas used both Air Force One and a Boeing C-32A, the military equivalent of a Boeing 757, which was apparently use to transport the First Lady.
Judicial Watch also has obtained records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security revealing that President Obama’s four trips to New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Palm City, Florida in 2014 and 2015 cost taxpayers at least $286,416.64 for Secret Service travel and accommodations. The Obama trips to New York and Los Angeles were solely for fundraising events. In Chicago, the president campaigned for Rahm Emanuel. The Palm City trip was a golf outing with no official activities.
The records obtained by Judicial Watch for the Obama family’s 2015 Honolulu Christmas vacation reveal the following flight expenses totaling $3,590,313.60:
- Air Force One, at $180,118 per hour for 18.2 hours – totaling $3,278,147.60
- A Boeing C-32A, at $15,846 per hour for 19.7 hours – totaling $312,166
The C-32A is a specially configured upscale version of the Boeing 757 used for the vice president, the first lady, members of the cabinet and Congress. According the U.S. Air Force factsheet, the C-32A features, among other luxuries, “a fully-enclosed stateroom for the use of the primary passenger. It includes a changing area, private lavatory, separate entertainment system, two first-class swivel seats and a convertible divan that seats three and folds out to a bed.”
The newly obtained documents released by Judicial Watch reveal the following Secret Service expenses for the Obama New York, Chicago, Las Angeles, and Palm City travel:
- Obama’s July 17, 2014, fundraising trip to New York City cost taxpayers $242 for car rentals and $74,264.25 for hotels, for a total of $74,506.25.
- Obama’s February 19, 2015, trip to Chicago cost taxpayers $1,623.40 for car rentals and $22,597.28 for hotels, for a total of $24,220.68.
- Obama’s March 12-13, 2015, trip to Los Angeles for a TV appearance and fundraiser cost taxpayers $3,307.98 on car rentals and $84,453.05 on hotels, for a total of $87,760.99.
- Obama’s March 28-29, 2015, trip to Palm City, Florida, cost taxpayers $9,960.06 on car rentals and $91,968.72 for hotels, for a total of $101,928.72.
Obama’s July 2014 trip to New York City was solely to headline a gala lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. According to The Associated Press: “The White House says Obama will raise money for the Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic group that takes unlimited donations. Obama’s appearance will complete his gradual acceptance of the big-money groups he once opposed.”
The Obama’s March 2015 trip to California was exclusively to raise money for the Democratic National Committee. His visit to Los Angeles began with an appearance on ABC’s late night comedy program “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” after which he appeared at a “roundtable discussion” fundraiser hosted at the Santa Monica home of ICM Partners cofounder Chris Silbermann and his wife Julia Franz. Guests paid up to $33,400 per couple for attendance.
Obama’s February 2015 trip to Chicago was billed by the White House as a non-political event to declare the Pullman Historic District a national monument. But, press reports indicated that the trip was heavily political. A CNN story is titled, “Obama gives Emanuel re-election boost.”
In Palm City, Florida, Obama played golf at the “spectacular” Floridian National Golf Club, where members pay a $50,000 initiation fee and $15,000 in annual dues. According to the resort’s website, “This stunning, yet formidable par 71 will certainly impress. At 7,114 yards, the 18-hole course offers perfectly manicured rolling fairways and greens, demanding hazards, breathtaking views of the St. Lucie River, and is surrounded by natural preserve and native wildlife.” No official activities were included on Obama’s Palm City itinerary.
“The American people have every right to be appalled that Barack Obama wastes their precious tax dollars on an endless stream of golf vacations, political fundraisers, and exorbitant vacations,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama travel issue is about abuse of office, abuse of the taxpayer, and contempt for the rule of law.”
To date, the known travel expenses for the Obamas and Vice President Joe Biden have exceeded $78,003,292.44.