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CNN report damns Trump for taking taxpayer-funded Mar-a-Lago trips as he slashes government programs

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Donald Trump playing golf, as he has about 30 hours a week during his presidency. (Screenshot)

CNN’s Jon Avlon did a special report categorizing how much President Donald Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago cost taxpayers and how that cost could be better spent on Americans.

In a Sunday report, Avlon created a new currency he calls “one Mar-a-Lago,” meaning one trip to Trump’s golf course in Florida for the president and his team.

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Last week, Trump and his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos got caught trying to slash funding to special education and the Special Olympics. The move came just days after Trump welcomed youth with Down Syndrome to the White House for National Down Syndrome Day. DeVos was asked if she personally approved the cuts, and she revealed she did not. The cuts likely were handed down by those crafting Trump’s budget.

Each time Trump takes a weekend vacation to his “gilded pleasure palace” in Palm Beach, Florida, it costs taxpayers $3.4 million. He’s so far spent 51 nights at the resort, which translates to $69 million. The budget for the Special Olympics is about $17.6 million, or five Mar-a-Lagos.

“That’s not all,” said Avlon. “The Health and Human Services budget cuts program for those with Autism. This one is about three times as deep. A whopping $51 million. For those playing at home, that’s about 15 Mar-a-Lago. What about the corporation for public broadcasting? Conservatives have been trying to kill the company that built Big Birds nests since the 1960s. Mr. Rogers even once had to step in to save it. The Trump budget proposed cutting all but 30 of the $465 million budget. To save the company that brought you Sesame Street along with arts and culture free to all Americans at home would cost about 136 Mar-a-Lago.”

The most tragic, however, comes from the struggling Americans in Puerto Rico. After being hit with two hurricanes, the island was devastated, killing up to 3,000 people and costing about $41 billion in damage.

“Making good on the current allocation would cost an estimated 9,000 Mar-a-Lago,” Avlon said.

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He noted that the president has spent more than a quarter of his presidency on vacation at the resort. The Washington Post calculated that the president played golf about once every five days through November of 2018.

Ironically, Trump criticized Obama for how often he plays golf. The totality of Obama’s golf trips over eight years is approximately 31 Mar-a-Lago trips, which Trump is coming close to surpassing in just three years.

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Watch the full report below:


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