WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Mar 26, 2014) - Judicial Watch announced today that on March 19, 2014, it obtained flight expense records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force revealing that President Obama incurred $15,885,585.30 in flight expenses alone for the Obama family June to July, 2013 trip to Africa and their 2013-2014 Christmas vacation to Honolulu. The records came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
According to the Department of Air Force documents:
- The flights to, from, and around Africa for the June-July 2013 trip totaled 35.5 hours at $228,288 an hour, which comes to a flight expense alone of $8,104,224
- The flights to and from Honolulu for the December 2013-January 2014 Christmas vacation totaled 36.9 hours at $210,877 an hour, which comes to a flight expense alone of $7,781,361.30. This is an increase of $3,695,006.10 from the flight expenses Judicial Watch reported the Obama's incurred for their 2012-2013 Honolulu Christmas vacation.
From June 27, 2013, to July 3, 2013, Obama visited three countries in Africa: Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania. According to reports in the Washington Post, the total cost to taxpayers for the Africa trip was approximately $100 million. The Hill newspaper reported that when pressed by reporters about the "massive cost," the White House simply responded that the trip offers "great bang for the buck."
Saying he was "eager to skip town" Obama also took his family to Honolulu on December 20, 2013, for a 17-day Christmas vacation.
In February, Judicial Watch reported that Obama incurred $1,164,268.60 in flight expenses alone for the August 2013 Obama family vacation to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. During that vacation, the Obama family spent eight days at the $7.6 million Martha's Vineyard home of David Schulte, founder of the private equity firm Chilmark Partners.
"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."