Judicial Watch: Obama Family Spent $17M on Travel Last Year

Image: Judicial Watch: Obama Family Spent $17M on Travel Last Year

Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 05:35 PM

By Cathy Burke

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President Barack Obama racked up nearly $16 million flying his family to Africa and on a Christmas vacation to Honolulu last year, Judicial Watch said Wednesday.

Citing Air Force documents obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request, the taxpayer watchdog group said flights to, from, and around Africa for the Obamas’ June 27-July 3 trip cost taxpayers about $8.1 million.

The group noted the calculation figures flight costs at $22,288 an hour, with flights on the trip to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania logging 35.5 hours.

The first family’s 17-day Christmas trip, starting last Dec. 20 — before which the president confessed he was “eager to skip town” — with flying time at $210,877 an hour, totaled 36.9 hours, or about $7.8 million, the documents showed.

The latest holiday getaway cost almost $3.7 million more than the first family’s Honolulu vacation the year before, the group said.

In February, the watchdog group also reported that the Obama family's vacation to Martha’s Vineyard last August hit taxpayers with an approximate $1.1 million bill for flying expenses.

“The costs to taxpayers of President Obama’s travel, especially his luxury vacation travel, are beyond the pale,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And the secrecy surrounding these costs shows that Obama’s vows of transparency are rubbish.”

The report comes on the heels of a survey by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation showing Obama has spent more time traveling internationally than any other modern president – taking 31 foreign trips totaling 119 days since assuming office in 2009.

Presidents traveling with their families on exotic vacations is nothing new. The Bush twins visited Europe during their father’s presidency, as did children of the Carters, Fords, Nixons, and Eisenhowers.

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