Judicial Watch: Air Force Documents Show President Obama Ran up $1,539,402.10 in Flight Expenses Alone for Labor Day 2014 Weekend Trips
NOVEMBER 18, 2014
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it has obtained records from the United States Air Force revealing the flight cost for President Obama’s Labor Day 2014 weekend trips for fundraising, personal business, and politicking came to a total of $1,539,402.10 in taxpayer-paid transportation expenses. The documents regarding the transportation expenses came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on September 2, 2014.
According to the newly released records obtained by Judicial Watch:
- Flights for Obama’s 2014 Labor Day weekend fundraising trips to Westchester, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, cost taxpayers $527,192.50
- Transportation for Obama’s round-trip flight from D.C. to Westchester, New York, to attend a wedding cost taxpayers $358,490.90
- The flight for Obama’s trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to speak at “Laborfest 2014” cost taxpayers $653,718.70
Obama began his Labor Day weekend by taking off on yet another flurry of fundraisers in the Northeast. He began his money-raising venture by heading to Westchester, New York, on Friday, August 29.
While in New York, Obama attended two fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee, one of them a BBQ at the home of former UBS CEO Robert Wolf. Obama later that day took off for Providence, Rhode Island, for a fundraiser at the private residence of former Nortek CEO Richard Bready and Betty Easton, where tickets cost up to $32, 400. This event marked Obama’s ninth fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year.
Obama was originally scheduled to fly back to Westchester, New York, Friday night, spend the night there, then return to D.C. after attending the high-profile wedding of the White House chef Sam Kass to MSNBC host and liberal commentator, Alex Wagner on Saturday.
However, he changed plans last minute and flew to D.C. for the night – and then flew back to New York. White House’s Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained that this change allowed Obama to “sleep in his own bed, do a little work tomorrow, spend some time with his family, and then travel back to New York….” The difference between flying to Washington, D.C., instead of New York created an additional 1.4 hours spent in Air Force One, which adds up to $295,227.80 more in taxpayer dollars.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “This Labor Day back-and-forth shows President Obama seems to confuse Air Force One with Uber. President Obama abuses not only taxpayers with this unnecessary travel – he strains an already overstretched military and a Secret Service that is in crisis and can’t even guard the front door of the White House. The new Congress could do worse than to reform presidential travel so taxpayers aren’t gouged by candidates and campaigns benefitting from the political use of Air Force One.”