Documents: Obama's Honolulu, Africa Flights Cost Taxpayers Nearly $16 Million
New Air Force documents show that the tab to taxpayers for recent trips President Obama and his family took to Africa and Honolulu was nearly $16 million – and that's just for the flights.
The documents obtained by activist group Judicial Watch show the Africa trip required 35.5 flight hours. At a cost of $228,288 per flight hour, the total cost was a staggering $8,104,224.
For the Obamas' Christmas vacation in Honolulu, starting in December 2013 and ending in January 2014, the documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show the first family accumulated 36.9 total flight hours. At a cost of $210,877 per flight hour, the flight costs alone for that trip totaled $7,781,361.30, according to the Air Force documents.
That amount, Judicial Watch said in a press release, is $3,695,006.10 more than the Obama family’s flight expenses for their 2012-2013 Honolulu Christmas vacation.
The total airfare bill for the U.S. taxpayer for the two trips is $15,885,585.30.
“The costs to taxpayers of President Obama’s travel, especially his luxury vacation travel, are beyond the pale,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “And the secrecy surrounding these costs shows that Obama’s vows of transparency are rubbish.”
The Africa trip ran from June 27, 2013, until July 3, 2013. The Obamas visited three countries in Africa: Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania. A report in The Washington Post estimated the total trip cost to be about $100 million, to which the White House responded, according to The Hill, that the trip was a “great bang for our buck.”
The first family’s 17-day Honolulu vacation began on December 20, 2013, after Obama said at a press conference that he was "eager to skip town."
These documents come in the wake of February reports from Judicial Watch that the first family’s eight-day August 2013 vacation in Martha’s Vineyard cost taxpayers $1,164,268.60 in flight costs alone.
Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton also traveled to Africa, and their trips cost tens of millions of dollars, as well.
However, Obama has traveled more internationally and at a higher expense than any president before him at the same point in their presidencies, according to a National Taxpayer Union study released earlier this week.