Palm Beach County spent $13.7million on security for President Trump and his family during the 27 trips they made to the Mar-a-Lago resort between his election in November 2016 through Easter of last year, it has been revealed.
Records indicate that the county has been reimbursed almost $10million by the federal government for expenses that accumulated through September 2018, The Palm Beach Post is reporting.
The county is now waiting to be paid back the remaining balance of $3.8million which was accrued during the course of fiscal year 2019 that ended in October.
A county official told the Post that most of the money was spent on overtime for the sheriff’s deputies.
‘I think that the program is operating well,’ Assistant County Administrator Todd J. Bonlarron said of the federal government’s reimbursement program.
‘We have gotten back what we’ve requested.’
President Trump returns to Mar-a-Lago on Saturday after playing golf in his nearby club in Palm Beach
Palm Beach County records show that the local government spent nearly $14million on security for the president and his family during his trips to Mar-a-Lago between November 2016 and Easter of last year. Trump’s motorcade is seen arriving at his golf club on Saturday
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies help secure the president’s motorcade in West Palm Beach on Saturday
Bonlarron could not say when he expected the county to be reimbursed the remaining $3.8million.
Visits by Trump to Mar-a-Lago pose several security challenges for both federal and local law enforcement agencies.
The United States Secret Service works in tandem with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office as well as other agencies in manning checkpoints, directing traffic, guarding the perimeter of the Mar-a-Lago property, providing bomb-sniffing canines, and escorting the president’s motorcade with dozens of motorcycles.
In the period between Trump’s election victory in November 2016 and his inauguration in January 2017, local agencies spent $958,909.45 on visits by the then-president elect and his family.
Between Trump taking the oath of office and the end of fiscal year 2017, local agencies spent $3.2million in protecting the president and his family.
In fiscal year 2018, the county spent $5.6million on Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago.
That figure dropped in 2019 to $3.8million – most likely due to the 17-day government shutdown in December 2018.
Trump canceled his 17-day visit to Mar-a-Lago and stayed in Washington during that crisis.
Visits to Mar-a-Lago by Trump are more costly than the president’s trips to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he often goes in the summer.
Some of the president’s supporters gather along Southern Boulevard as Trump’s motorcade drives by on Saturday
That’s because Trump’s golf club in Florida, the Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach, is four miles away from Mar-a-Lago, which is located in Palm Beach.
While it is a short drive, it requires a presidential motorcade and the motorcycle escorts in addition to roadblocks and checkpoints for the other traffic.
Trump’s golf course in Bedminster is located on the same property as the residence, so there is no need for a motorcade.
It is not known how much the federal government has spent in total on security for Trump and his family for their trips to Florida.
That’s because the Secret Service has so far refused to release those records.
Democrats in Congress are trying to force the Trump administration to reveal the information, but the administration is fighting back, saying it would prefer that those figures be released only after the 2020 election, according to The Washington Post.
The news site Huffington Post conducted an analysis last year which claimed that the total cost of the president’s trips to Mar-a-Lago reached $81million – not including the $13.7million bill to Palm Beach County.
Last year, the Government Accountability Office published a report which found that the president’s first four trips to Mar-a-Lago in early 2017 cost taxpayers $13.6million.
Most of the expenditures – $10.6million – was attributed to the use of government aircraft and boats.
Most recently, the president and his family spent six days at Mar-a-Lago over the Thanksgiving holiday and 17 days over Christmas and New Year’s.