Report reveals the staggering cost of the first lady's travel while living in New York
First lady Melania Trump cost taxpayers nearly $700,000 during the first half 2017, according to official documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal.
The documents revealed that FLOTUS used Air Force jets to take a total of 21 flights between late January 2017 after the president's inauguration through last April while she lived in New York so the Trumps' youngest son, Barron, could finish the school year in the city. Majority of the trips were between New York, Washington D.C. and Florida.
While the first lady was only on 21 of the flights over the course of the three-month period, the Journal reported that the Air Force jets made 48 trips in total to transport Trump and Barron. The additional flights were because she oftentimes flew on carriers based at Joint Base Andrews which meant that the jets would have to fly without passengers to accommodate Mrs. Trump.
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"The trips mentioned in this story are examples of Mrs. Trump juggling dual roles — putting her son first while also fulfilling some of her duties as first lady," Stephanie Grishman, a spokeswoman for the first lady, told the Journal.
The Journal reported that, as of now, there is no identifiable evidence that any of the trips during the three-month span were 'improper.'
Erika Yepsen, Air Force spokeswoman, said that the Air Force works "diligently to ensure it acts as a good steward of taxpayers’ money while meeting the requirements of every mission it’s assigned regardless of where the mission occurs, what the mission is or who the mission supports."
Although the first lady's travel history is unique due to her residency in New York, the report also revealed that the former first lady Michelle Obama's solo travel cost $2.8 million over eight years. The total breaks down to about an average of $350,000 a year.