Anna Sheffer
January 30, 2018 9:55 am

First Lady Melania Trump has been shrouded in secrecy since her husband’s inauguration in January 2017. Melania’s private nature and public poker face have even inspired wild theories on Twitter. And recently, one of Melania’s Mar-a-Lago trips has stirred controversy for its cost to taxpayers.

The First Lady departed the White House for the Florida resort on January 26th, after canceling her trip to the economic forum in Davos, Switzerland with the president. According to the New York Times, every time the Trumps fly to Palm Beach International Airport, it costs taxpayers $16,168 per hour, meaning that Melania’s round-trip flight to Mar-a-Lago cost about $64,000.

On January 12th, The Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump had paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels to cover up an affair between the two. The affair reportedly took place in 2006, shortly after the birth of Trump and Melania’s son, Barron Trump. Since this revelation, Melania has been conspicuously absent from making public appearances, and her only statements are issued via social media. The First Lady even remained silent on January 22nd, the Trumps’ 13th wedding anniversary, which passed without commentary.

After Trump’s inauguration, Melania delayed moving to the White House, remaining at Trump Tower in New York until Barron Trump finished school in June. During that time, her travel on Air Force jets reportedly cost more than $675,000.

Melania isn’t the only Trump to use taxpayer money for travel, though. The president spent 40 days at his Palm Beach resort in 2017, costing taxpayers a whopping $6.6 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Ironically, Trump himself complained about President Barack Obama spending money to travel, but in one year, Trump has manage to spend more than $10 million on travel alone. If the Trumps continue their pattern of frequent travel, they could easily overtake the Obamas’ spending.

It matters how much presidents spend on vacation, and Melania’s recent Mar-a-Lago excursion is no exception. Public officials like Melania deserve vacation time, of course, but the price tag on the Trumps’ many vacations is exceedingly excessive. Nevertheless, dealing with rumors that your husband cheated on you would be difficult for anyone, and we hope Melania is able to work through this news the way that is best for her.

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