National Security Council Spokesman Says Alleged $200M Per Day Cost of Obama Asia Trip 'Wildly Inflated' But Does Not Specify Cost

November 5, 2010 - 2:08 PM
National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer denies the reported expense of the president's trip to Asia.

(CNSNews.com) - National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer told reporters that the alleged $200M a day cost of President Obama’s trip to Asia is “wildly inflated” but he did not specify the actual cost.

During a news conference for foreign reporters at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Hammer was asked about the alleged $200 million cost attributed in media reports to an official in Mumbai.

“We are hearing about a figure of $200 million a day – that’s what it’s going to cost the U.S. administration for the president’s trip around Asia. This is going viral on the web,” a reporter said to Hammer.

“Can you answer where this information is coming from?” Hammer asked.

The reporter said the figure has come from an official in Mumbai.

“We don’t know where these reports are coming from. They seem to be wildly inflated in terms of the cost. I’m not going to get into the cost issues but certainly, I wouldn’t pay a lot of credence to that,” Hammer said.

obama in Albuquerque

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M., on Monday, Sept. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Congresswomen Michele Bachmann used the $200 million per day figure in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night. She said the cost included 34 Navy ships, 870 hotel rooms in India and a 2,000-person entourage.

“These are the numbers that are coming out in the press," she told Cooper.

The White House has issued a statement rejecting the $200 million per day alleged cost but did not specify the actual cost of the trip.

"It's safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated,” said White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage. The Pentagon also dismissed the figures.

"I will take the liberty this time of dismissing as absolutely absurd this notion that somehow we're deploying 10 percent of the Navy, some 34 ships and an aircraft carrier in support of the president's trip to Asia," said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. "That's just comical. Nothing close to that is -- is -- being done."