Obamas set new record for vacation travel expenses; stonewalled documents finally released

It took filing a lawsuit, but Judicial Watch discovered Friday that President Obama has set a new record for travel on the taxpayer dime.

The conservative watchdog group obtained travel records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force that show the Obamas racked up $7.4 million during just three trips in 2013 – in flight expenses only.

The records, revealed Friday, include the Obama family’s Christmas vacation in Hawaii from Dec. 21, 2012, to Jan. 5, 2013. During that stay, the president took a short break and flew back to Washington to work on a budget deal, then returned for the rest of his vacation.

Obama vacation Marthas Vineyard

Photo credit: Cape Cod Times/Steve Heaslip

The second trip was in early August, 2013, when Obama flew to California for a private fundraiser with DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, then appeared with Jay Leno on the “Tonight Show.” Later that month, the Obama family vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in August 2013, after repeated stonewalling by the White House. The group reported:

*    The outbound flight to Honolulu for the Obamas’ 2012-13 Christmas vacation cost taxpayers $2, 214, 393.60. The return flight to Washington cost $1,871,961.60. Flight expenditures alone came to $4,086,355.20.

*    The outbound flight to California in August, 2013 for Obama to dine with Katzenberg and appear on the “The Tonight Show” cost taxpayers $1,209,926.40. The return flight to Washington cost $935,980.80. Flight expenditures alone came to $2,145,907.20.

*    The outbound flight to Martha’s Vineyard for the Obama family’s August vacation cost taxpayers $890,323.20. The return flight to Washington cost $273,945.60. Flight expenditures alone came to $1,164,268.80.

*   The grand total of $7,396,531.20, Judicial Watch pointed out, only accounted for flight expenses for the three trips.

“The fact is, the Obamas are abusing the public trust and the taxpayers with unnecessary luxurious vacations and travel,” Judicial Watch said in its report. “These staggering costs show why these documents were covered-up and we had to sue in federal court to get them.  Another transparency fail for the Obama gang, but thanks to our federal lawsuit it is another accountability win for the American taxpayer.”

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Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek has been a political consultant handling public affairs, political campaigns and PAC management for nearly 20 years.


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