President Donald Trump frequently uses his luxury properties for government business and leisure, prompting ethics concerns over a president appearing to promote his private enterprise at public cost.
The NBC News digital politics team and the White House unit are tracking Trump's visits to his properties and golf courses since his inauguration.
Where does Trump go?
Trump's trips have mainly been concentrated in Palm Beach, Florida, where he visits his Mar-a-Lago club and golf course, Trump International Golf Club. He's spent "working vacations" at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, and as well as a handful of days at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
He also frequents his golf course in Sterling, Virginia, near Washington, and his luxury hotel, Trump International, just blocks from the White House — and sometimes will visit multiple properties on the same day. On a July 2018 trip to the U.K., the president visited his Trump Turnberry golf property in Scotland.
How many times has Trump gone golfing as president?
Trump visited his golf clubs more than 150 times in his first official year in office, and at least 77 times in his second year in office.
However, the precise number of times Trump has actually played golf is difficult to track. His administration has tried to hide Trump's activity, keeping his traveling press pool away and often refusing to confirm whether he has played golf. Instead, social media has become a source of crowd-sourced reporting into the president's whereabouts.
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During his 2016 campaign, Trump argued that Americans should vote for him because he would rarely leave Washington. He promised that he wouldn't go golfing or take vacations because there was too much work to do.
Trump's strong opinions on presidential golfingApril 12, 201702:39
And prior to his run for president, Trump spent years attacking President Barack Obama for golfing and taking vacations while in office.
When does Trump visit his properties?
With the exception of extended stays at his golf resort in Bedminster, Trump usually frequents his properties on weekends. Trump has referred to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, as the "Southern White House" — and that's where he's hosted foreign leaders like President Xi Jinping of China and directed the launch of a strike against a Syrian airbase.
How much does Trump's travel cost?
The president's trips can cost taxpayers millions of dollars because of the use of Air Force One and the expenses of the Secret Service, the Air Force, local sheriff's departments, the Coast Guard and other agencies. However, a precise accounting can't be made because the expenses aren't required to be disclosed.
In February 2019, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said that federal agencies incurred costs of about $13.6 million for the president's four trips to Mar-a-Lago from February 3 through March 5, 2017.
Presidents other than Trump incurred similar questions about travel costs. Much of what is known about Obama's travel costs was obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which aggressively sought receipts through Freedom of Information Act requests. In October 2016, the GAO issued its own report breaking out the costs of one specific trip taken by Obama, finding that a trip to Chicago and Florida cost $3.6 million.
This tracker automatically counts Trump's days in office. When Trump arrives at one of his properties, the tracker updates accordingly.