After nearly a year of stalling by the Obama administration, Judicial Watch has obtained the vacation travel records for the Obamas’ and Vice President Joe Biden’s 2013 President’s Day weekend excursions and Michelle Obama’s 2011 South African trip.
President Obama spent President’s Day weekend, Feb. 15-18, golfing in West Palm Beach, Fla., while the first lady and the girls enjoyed a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado, as did Biden.
Taxpayers picked up a tab which totaled $295,437.04 for the personal vacations, according to U.S. Secret Service records from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by Judicial Watch.A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch June 21, 2013, against the U.S. Secret Service found this in 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.
The second group of documents obtained by Judicial Watch indicate that taxpayers paid more than $1,000,000 for Michelle Obama’s 2011 “safari” trip to South Africa and Botswana.
The watchdog organization filed a lawsuit for the information Oct. 4, 2011, but have just now received details of the full costs of the June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by Michelle Obama, her family and her staff.
The United States Air Force documents show that 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 included a private family safari at a South African game reserve, according to Judicial Watch.
An additional $424,142 was billed to taxpayers for the cost of the flight and crew, according to earlier documents obtained by Judicial Watch, bringing the total cost to more than $1 million.
“After all of our litigating and investigating these travel records, this much is clear: The Obamas and Vice President Biden do not seem to care a whit about sticking taxpayers with the bill for their vacation travel,” Judicial Watch said in its report. “But they care very much about keeping these costs secret. 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. And rightly so.”