Donald Trump complained to Puerto Rican hurricane victims this week that their suffering is throwing his budget "out of whack," but for the same cost as the first family's exorbitant travel, the government could have sent nearly 130 cargo ships to the island, a new analysis shows.
The president and first family have reportedly spent an unprecedented $32 million on trips to Mar-a-Lago and other exclusive Trump properties across the country — so much, in fact, that the online document company FormSwift decided to convert the extravagent budget into its equivalent in humanitarian aide.
Estimating the cost of fuel and the length of the trip, the numbers-crunchers discovered that the president's estimated travel bills would equal 128 cargo ship trips from Florida to Puerto Rico. When FormSwift included the entire first family's travels, the amount of aid ships increased to 130.
The company says it was motivated to examine the travel expenditures because of how Trump responded to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
"Trump's statement on the 'very large ocean' between the US and Puerto Rico made us interested in seeing just how difficult it is to get cargo ships of supplies to these victims," FormSwift CEO Vik Tantry told Newsweek.
A trip on a fully loaded U.S. cargo ship from Florida's ports to Puerto Rico's would cost an estimated $249,899 in fuel to make the 1,149-mile trip, according to the study.
Trump's travel costs continue to draw focus simply because of how high they are. For comparison: the conservative-leaning organization Judicial Watch calculated that former President Barack Obama spent $100 million on personal travel during his entire eight years in office. Just eight months into his presidency, Trump has reportedly spent $32 million in taxpayer dollars on trips, including those to his private Mar-A-Lago resort.
First Lady Melania Trump used private jets from New York City to Florida and D.C. before moving into the White House that ranged between $60,450 and $87,078 a trip. Ivanka enjoyed a high-end ski resort trip, Eric Trump visited Uruguay, Dublin and the U.K and Tiffany Trump went with her boyfriend to Berlin. FormSwift estimated the president’s family members, excluding himself, have already accrued a personal travel bill of $434,109.
Providing federal hurricane relief efforts for the U.S. territory isn’t as simple as asking the Trumps to stop taking trips, unfortunately. Taxpayer dollars allocated for the first family’s trips can’t easily be switched over to money for FEMA and the National Guard, for example, as the funding is already used to pay for federal agencies like the Secret Service.
But the president has failed to make the same promise of a $1 million personal donation to those suffering on the island that he made to the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.