Judicial Watch Obtains Records Revealing $937,487.94 in Security Expenses for Obamas’ 2013 Vacations to Honolulu and Aspen
OCTOBER 07, 2014
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it has obtained records from the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of the Air Force revealing the security costs for the Obama Family’s 2013 vacation in Honolulu and Martha’s Vineyard, and the flight cost for the First Lady’s 2014 ski trip to Aspen, CO, came to $972,450.24 in taxpayer-paid vacation expenses. The documents regarding the vacations to Hawaii, Massachusetts and Colorado came in response to three Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed on August 8, 2013, September 6, 2013, and February 18, 2014, respectively.
According to the newly released records obtained by Judicial Watch:
- Security for the Obamas’ 2012-2013 Hawaii Christmas vacation cost taxpayers $566,093.09
- Security for the Obamas’ 2013 vacation to Martha’s Vineyard cost taxpayers $371,394.85
- Transportation for the First Lady’s 2014 ski-trip in Aspen, CO cost taxpayers $34,962.30 (Judicial Watch is still awaiting security costs for the Aspen trip.)
In February 2014, Judicial Watch released flight expense records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force revealing that President Obama incurred $5,250,624 in flight expenses alone for his 2013 vacations to Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard. Adding in the newly released expense records, that brings total cost to the taxpayers for the two Obama family 2013 vacations and the First Lady’ 2014 Aspen ski trip to $6,223,074.24, not including the Aspen security costs.
From December, 21, 2012, to January, 5, 2013, the Obama family spent their Christmas vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii, where they stayed at the luxurious 6,000 square-foot, $7.9 million Kailua home they had rented in 2011. From August 11 – 17, 2013, the Obama family spent an extended week vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where they stayed at the plush $7.6 million home of David Schulte, founder of the private equity firm Chilmark Partners and major contributor to Obama’s campaigns. These two vacations cost a total of $937,487.94 in security alone.
“The Obamas continually abuse the public trust and raid the taxpayers’ coffers for unnecessarily luxurious and incessant vacations and travel,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The very fact that we repeatedly have to file Freedom of Information Act requests and lawsuits to obtain this information reveals that the ‘most transparent administration in history’ knows that its behavior is extravagant and, therefore, seeks to cover it up. One can only imagine how this unnecessary travel saps the budget and morale of a Secret Service that cannot even secure the White House complex, and had trouble keeping the president secure even when he’s traveling on important government business.”
According to records obtained by Judicial Watch through FOIA requests and lawsuits, the Obamas and Bidens have spent more than $40 million taxpayer dollars on trips since 2009 up through the president’s most recent Palm Springs and Key Largo golf outings, which cost the taxpayers $2,952,278 in flight expenses. The most lavish expenditure on record was for the Obamas’ 2013 Africa trip and Honolulu vacation, which cost taxpayers $15,885,585.30 in flight expenses alone. The single largest expense for accommodations was for Michelle Obama’s side-trip to Dublin, Ireland, during the 2013 G-8 conference in Belfast, when she and her entourage booked 30 rooms at the five-star Shelbourne Hotel, with the first lady staying in the 1500 square-foot Princess Grace suite at a cost of $3,500 a night. The total cost to taxpayers for the Obamas’ Ireland trip was $7,921,638.66.