Obama’s Secret Service Entourage in Africa Cost Taxpayers Over $2M
(CNSNews.com) – The cost for the lodging, entertainment, and security by the Secret Service for the June 2013 Africa trip by President Barack Obama and his family cost $2,189,727, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.
In addition, the flight costs to, around, and from Africa for that trip cost $8,104,224, and the total cost of the trip has been estimated by numerous media reports as somewhere between $60 million and $100 million.
“The Obamas clearly either do not understand the value of a dollar – or understand it all too well when someone else is picking up the tab,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement. “Keep in mind that this outrageously lavish excursion came at the very same time that the president was shutting down White House tours and blaming it on the sequester. As one congressional critic noted at the time, the White House could have 1,350 weeks of tours for the cost of the Obama family’s trip to Africa.”
The sub-Saharan Africa trip occurred from June 27 to July 3, 2013. The president’s wife and daughters went on the excursion.
According to the documents from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by Judicial Watch, hotel costs for the Secret Service over seven days was $953,788.18, or about $136,255 per day.
A safari in Tanzania for the Obamas was planned but later cancelled. The cost of the Secret Service preparations for that safari were $11,525.75.
During the trip, the Obamas visited Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. As reported at the time by the Washington Post, “One hundred agents are needed as ‘post-standers’ – to man security checkpoints and borders around the president – in each of the first three cities he visits. … In addition, 80 to 100 additional agents will be flown in to work rotating shifts, with round-the clock coverage, for Obama’s and his family’s security details, counterassault teams and logistics coordinators.”[cns-donate]