How much did you pay to cover Trump’s visits to his NJ golf club as president? We added it up.

Donald Trump’s trips to his Bedminster Golf Club as president cost U.S. taxpayers more than $ 2.4 million, according to U.S. Secret Service files obtained by NJ Advance Media.

The lion’s share of the amount, $ 1.9 million, went to hotel stays by Secret Service agents in the Bedminster area. The records, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that the Secret Service also spent $ 35,415 on rooms at the golf club, which served as Trump’s weekends and getaways in August during the warmer months.

The Secret Service also spent $ 285,219 on travel, $ 41,499 on rental cars, $ 80,800 on golf carts and $ 46,520 on portable toilets.

The Secret Service declined to comment.

Other costs of Trump’s frequent visits to Bedminster, including the estimated at $ 142,000 per hour it costs Air Force One to fly, according to figures obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, and the cost of transporting the presidential helicopter from Morristown airport to the golf club.

“The president is a unique and unique position,” said Ben Dworkin, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship at Rowan University. “Indeed, it is an institution. Accommodations to protect the president wherever he is must be made. It is therefore not particularly surprising.

Trump said in May 2017 that it was cheaper for the taxpayer and less disruptive for him to spend time in Bedminster rather than Trump Tower in New York City.

He was the first president not to sell his business holdings and has been criticized by ethics experts for refusing to do so.

“When President Trump went to Bedminster it wasn’t because he loved golf – he was making promotional appearances at a business he continued to own and operate,” said Jordan Libowitz, spokesperson of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics watch group in Washington.

“Now we know that its decision not to divest its assets has cost taxpayers millions of dollars. The Trump Organization should repay that money, but we know it won’t. “

Last August, Trump held two press conferences at the golf club in front of an audience of club members who booed what they considered unfriendly questions and applauded his responses.

One of the press conferences was notable for the lack of social distancing and mask-wearing among its guests in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. At the time, New Jersey guidelines limited indoor gatherings to 25 people.

The golf club hosted the US Women’s Open in July 2017. Trump watched the proceedings from a skybox, and $ 68,000 was spent installing and removing the ballistic glass. Several players visited Trump after their rounds.

And the president has planted several weddings at the golf club.

Bedminster has also served as the venue for fundraising events for Trump, the Republican Party, and GOP candidates.

Trump spent 99 days in Bedminster during his presidency, just behind his Mar-a-Lago complex in Palm Beach, Florida, according to NBC News. He is currently back in Bedminster before returning to Florida when the weather gets colder.

The former president continues to enjoy Secret Service protection, and earlier this month the US Department of Homeland Security was awarded a contract for $ 34,140 for bathroom trailers. The contract runs until September 30.

Bedminster’s income fell 26% during Trump’s presidency, to $ 14.7 million in 2020 from $ 19.8 million in 2016, according to Trump’s latest personal financial disclosure documents. Part of the drop is due to the pandemic, as the club temporarily closed its clubhouse, fitness center and restaurants last year.

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Jonathan D. Salant can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on @JDSalant.

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