President Obama's 8-Day Africa Trip Will Cost Taxpayers Up To $100 Million
President Obama's forthcoming Africa trip could cost eight figures. The POTUS and first lady will visit three African nations later this month at the cost of as much as $100 million in taxpayer money.
According to a Washington Post report, the trip will run between $60 million to $100 million for security measures. Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service Agents will be dispatched all over the continent to ensure the protection of the Obamas' sub-Saharan Africa trek.
Additionally, 24-hour surveillance will be provided by fighter jets, military cargo planes will airlift in 56 vehicles, 14 of which are limousines with triple bulletproof glass.
Confidential internal planning documents obtained by the newspaper outlined the security measures, which the White House defended. "Frankly, there will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa, because when you travel to regions like Africa that don't get a lot of presidential attention, you can have very long-standing and long-running impact from the visit,” national security adviser Ben Rhodes said.
Rhodes reiterated that the grandiose price tag is not uncommon. "We don't determine the cost of the president's security, just as President Bush didn't and President Clinton didn't," he said. "The Secret Service is going to do what they think is necessary to protect the president. That's going to come with its own cost. But we don't sit here and say, 'We want to spend X amount of money on a trip.'"
Like the commander in chief, Vice President Joe Bidden knows how dominate a travel bill. His hotel tab for a one-night February trip to Paris cost $585,000.