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Tracking President Trump’s visits to Trump properties

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By Liz Johnstone

President Donald Trump frequently uses his luxury properties for government business and leisure, prompting ethics concerns over a president appearing to promote his private enterprise at public cost.

The NBC News digital politics team and the White House unit are tracking Trump’s visits to his properties and golf courses since his inauguration.

Where does Trump go?

Trump’s trips have so far been concentrated in Palm Beach, Florida, where he mainly visits his Mar-a-Lago club and golf course, Trump International Golf Club. He’s spent “working vacations” at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, and as well as a handful of days at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

He also frequents his golf course in Sterling, Virginia, near Washington, and his luxury hotel, Trump International, just blocks from the White House — and sometimes will visit multiple properties on the same day. On a July 2018 trip to the U.K., the president visited his Trump Turnberry golf property in Scotland.

How many times has Trump gone golfing as president?

Trump visited his golf clubs more than 150 times in his first official year in office, and at least 77 times in his second year in office.

However, the precise number of times Trump has actually played golf is difficult to track. His administration has tried to hide Trump’s activity, keeping his traveling press pool away and often refusing to confirm whether he has played golf. Instead, social media has become a source of crowd-sourced reporting into the president’s whereabouts.

Related: How Donald Trump’s Old Tweets Haunt Him Today

During the campaign, Trump argued that Americans should vote for him because he would rarely leave Washington. He promised that he wouldn’t go golfing or take vacations because there was too much work to do.

And prior to his run for president, Trump spent years attacking President Barack Obama for golfing and taking vacations while in office.

When does Trump visit his properties?

With the exception of extended stays at his golf resort in Bedminster, Trump usually frequents his properties on weekends. Trump has referred to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, as the “Southern White House” — and that’s where he’s hosted foreign leaders like President Xi Jinping of China and directed the launch of a strike against a Syrian airbase.

How much does Trump’s travel cost?

The president’s trips can cost taxpayers millions of dollars because of the use of Air Force One and the expenses of the Secret Service, the Air Force, local sheriff’s departments, the Coast Guard and other agencies. However, a precise accounting can’t be made because the expenses aren’t required to be disclosed.

In February 2019, a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said that federal agencies incurred costs of about $13.6 million for the president’s four trips to Mar-a-Lago from February 3 through March 5, 2017.

Presidents other than Trump incurred similar questions about travel costs. Much of what is known about Obama’s travel costs was obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which aggressively sought receipts through Freedom of Information Act requests. In October 2016, the GAO issued its own report breaking out the costs of one specific trip taken by Obama, finding that a trip to Chicago and Florida cost $3.6 million.

This tracker automatically counts Trump’s days in office. When Trump arrives at one of his properties, the tracker updates accordingly.

EJ Fox, Sam Petulla, Dartunorro Clark, Jeremia Kimelman and Winston Wilde contributed.



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Trump refuses meeting over hurricane relief, Puerto Rico governor says

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By Nicole Acevedo and Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Puerto Rico’s governor said President Donald Trump is refusing to meet privately with him to discuss the pace of disaster relief 17 months after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told reporters at a round table on Friday that the White House declined public and private requests to meet ahead of the governors’ conference taking place in the nation’s capital this weekend. Rosselló said Trump bears responsibility for the slow pace of disaster relief.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While the governor’s team has been in regular contact with federal officials, Rosselló said the White House declined his requests to meet with Trump directly without giving a reason. Rosselló hopes to speak to the president when dozens of governors attend a White House meeting on Monday.

Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, which represents the island’s government in the U.S., told NBC News that the Rosselló administration requested a formal meeting following reports that the administration could use $2.5 billion set aside to finance reconstruction projects in the island to pay for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

“We didn’t get the meeting that we wanted,” said Mercader in Spanish. “But they didn’t rule out the possibility of a private meeting later on.”

Instead, the White House suggested Rosselló meet with two federal agencies that are crucial to Puerto Rico’s recovery: Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Rosselló met with HUD secretary Ben Carson and FEMA administrator Brrock Long over the last week and a half, Mercader said.

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No Mueller report next week, says Justice Department official

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By Julia Ainsley

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr will not receive the final report of special counsel Robert Mueller by the end of next week, says a senior Justice Department official.

Multiple news outlets, including NBC News, CNN and the Washington Post, reported this week that Mueller’s report on his team’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia could be sent to the attorney general as early as next week.

NBC News first reported in December that the Mueller report could be delivered as soon as mid-February.

Under the special counsel regulations, Mueller must send his findings on Russian meddling in the 2016 election to the attorney general. It will then be Barr’s responsibility to provide a brief report of the findings to Congress and his decision on whether or not to make any part of the report public.

Certain material, such as grand jury testimony, will remain sealed from the public. At the heart of Mueller’s inquiry is the central question: Did the president or anyone on his campaign knowingly collude with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election?

On Friday, the Democratic chairs of six House committees wrote to Barr to say they expected him to make the Mueller report public “without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

The letter was signed by Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Oversight and Reform Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chair Rep. Adam Schiff, Financial Services Committee chair Rep. Maxine Waters, Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Richard Neal and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Rep. Eliot Engel.

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Politics

No Mueller report next week, says Justice Department official

Published

on

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By Julia Ainsley

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr will not receive the final report of special counsel Robert Mueller by the end of next week, says a senior Justice Department official.

Multiple news outlets, including NBC News, CNN and the Washington Post, reported this week that Mueller’s report on his team’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia could be sent to the attorney general as early as next week.

NBC News first reported in December that the Mueller report could be delivered as soon as mid-February.

Under the special counsel regulations, Mueller must send his findings on Russian meddling in the 2016 election to the attorney general. It will then be Barr’s responsibility to provide a brief report of the findings to Congress and his decision on whether or not to make any part of the report public.

Certain material, such as grand jury testimony, will remain sealed from the public. At the heart of Mueller’s inquiry is the central question: Did the president or anyone on his campaign knowingly collude with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election?

On Friday, the Democratic chairs of six House committees wrote to Barr to say they expected him to make the Mueller report public “without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

The letter was signed by Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Oversight and Reform Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chair Rep. Adam Schiff, Financial Services Committee chair Rep. Maxine Waters, Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Richard Neal and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Rep. Eliot Engel.

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