CNN has been caught in another lie… or as President Trump likes to call it “fake news.”
On Tuesday, they breathlessly reported that Donald Trump’s travel budget is so incredibly massive that it is “on pace to surpass 8 years of Obama’s travel in 1 year.
— Athena Jones (@AthenaCNN) April 12, 2017
As Twitchy points out, CNN got their estimation got his estimation for Trump’s travel – $21.6 million – by simply taking what it cost Obama to travel to Palm Beach once in 2013 and multiplying by six – which is as close a comparison as you could get.
Obama’s trip cost $3.6 million, so that number times six is $21.6 million.
Given variations in each trip, estimating the security costs around a presidential trip is difficult. But a 2016 Government Accountability Office report about a four-day trip Obama took to Florida in 2013 — one similar to Trump’s trips — found the total cost to the Secret Service and Coast Guard was $3.6 million.
To date, Trump has spent six weekends — and a total of 21 days — at Mar-A-Lago, his private Palm Beach club. The total estimated costs for those trips are around $21.6 million.
Of course, this is nonsense. Barack Obama spent about $100 million over eight years in office on personal travel.
Also, the author of a report that CNN grabbed their $3.6 million number from says comparing the trips this way is nonsense. The Chicago Tribune did a “fact-check” of their own.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) April 13, 2017
Here’s what they said:
The GAO’s bottom line for that trip, not including regular White House personnel costs as well as some classified expenses, was $3.6 million. But the author of that report, Brian Lepore, says that figure shouldn’t be applied to Trump’s travel.
“It’s hard to substitute one trip for another, even if the destination is the same,” Lepore said. Each time a president travels, the Defense Department must airlift equipment such as the protective limousines, security vehicles and occasionally helicopters from various military bases around the country.
To top it off, CNN used a Florida trip where Obama made a stop in Chicago, making that particular trip much more expensive.
Obama was only in Chicago for a few hours, but costs pile up because each destination triggers the need for the Secret Service to prepare and protect the site and the Defense Department to move the equipment involved.
We think it’s time for a correction to your “fact check,” CNN.