Mar a Lago is more than a golf destination: it’s a working Southern White House
The question of how much taxpayer money is being spent on President Trump’s travel to Mar a Lago is worthy of inquiry. But CNN’s approach to the subject this morning was a virtual parody of snarky, partisan snideness.
Alisyn Camerota trumpeted the fact that President Trump is on a pace to outspend in one year President Obama’s travel costs for eight years. But is that so? This AP fact check suggests she might be overstating the cost of presidential trips to Mar a Lago by a factor of three. Moreover, Camerota and guests depicted the Mar a Lago trips as nothing more than Trump golf outings. The reality is that the Palm Beach location has become a working Southern White House—witness its use as the site of President Trump’s meeting there with Chinese Premier Xi last week, and with the Japanese Prime Minister in February.
As her main guest for the segment, Camerota brought in long-time Trump antagonist Timothy O’Brien, who accused Trump of “hypocrisy” over his travel costs, and fretted that his base might not hold Trump accountable for it. When O’Brien seemed on the verge of suggesting that Trump reimburse the government for his travel costs, Camerota beat him to the punch: “cough it up!” Does Camerota see herself as an objective host or just another member of Team Anti-Trump?
Note: To get a sense of O’Brien’s antipathy to Trump, have a look at this article about the new edition of his anti-Trump book. The new introduction contains a sentence by O’Brien that is perhaps the longest in the history of the English language, a litany of all Trump’s ills as perceived by the author.
Note segundo: Trump once sued O’Brien for claiming that he was only worth $250 million. O’Brien apparently remains unconvinced about Trump’s wealth, saying during his appearance that Trump “claims” to be a billionaire.