14:38 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Trump walks up the steps the steps of Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla.

    Trump, Tightwad? President Claims Expensive Travel Habits Are Sign of Frugality

    © AP Photo / Susan Walsh
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    US President Donald Trump asserted on Friday that his frequent visits to properties he owns are an indication of how hard he is working. The comments follow repeated calls from across the political spectrum for him to limit his expensive travel and continuous golf outings: an unprecedented 19 trips in the first 100 days of his presidency.

    In a Friday interview the US president, using a kind of twisted logic familiar to fans of psychological thrillers and late-night comedy programming, claimed that his frequent trips away from the White House to play golf and relax in the tropical sun are a form of frugality, as the alternative would be visiting his wife and child in New York, a much more expensive visit.

    According to the New York Times, the president has visited a Trump-branded property a minimum of 31 of the first 100 days of his term, and that figure includes 19 golf outings, a presidential record.

    "I have a lot of property," Trump pointed out in the interview, cited by Talking Points Memo.

    Trump said he spends time at other properties instead of with his wife and young son in their residence in New York City because it costs the country less money and is less of a security hardship for the city.

    "I love New York, but going back is very expensive for the country," he said.

    Even when Trump is not in New York, however, the New York City Police Department estimates that it is spending between $127,000 and $146,000 each day to provide the requisite security services for the first lady and her son, a figure that would be unnecessary if the two joined him at the White House.

    But even if the first family lived together, according to growing voices among US lawmakers, it would do little to limit the president's weekly jaunts to tropical climes to play golf by the ocean.

    "It would be much better if people would understand that I could go other places than I have," Trump said during his Friday interview. He added, "I don't want to be known as a person that relaxes, because I am working hard and I am working hard for the people and we're doing a great job."

    As a response to Trump's albeit infrequent visits with his family in New York City, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) suggested that the federal government pay for any additional security.

    Schumer, a vocal critic of Trump, suggested that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio should refuse to pay for the president's security, stating: "[de Blasio] ought to tell the Congress if we don't pay for it, New York City cops aren't guarding it, and let the Feds put more people in," according to The Hill.

    The Trump family is said to be anticipating a reunion during the summer, after the president's youngest son's school term ends.


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