Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has revealed that President Barack Obama spent a whopping $360,236 of taxpayer funds on a campaign trip that saw Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hop aboard Air Force One.
According to a Freedom of Information Act request carried out by the group, Air Force One – which costs $180,118 per hour in flight – flew two hours roundtrip in July 2016 to carry the president and the presidential hopeful to North Carolina.
While Obama’s use of Air Force One for campaign purposes is not unprecedented, a White House statement at the time falsely claimed that a coalition of political organizations including the Democratic National Committee would cover the expenses since Clinton was traveling with him.
President Obama also became the first sitting president to travel on Air Force One with their chosen presidential candidate when he accepted Clinton on board.
In a statement, Judicial Watch blasted the president for his excessive travel expenditure.
“The Obamas’ notorious abuse of presidential travel perks wasted military resources and stressed the Secret Service,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “Judicial Watch estimates that the final costs of Obama’s unnecessary vacation and political travel will well exceed $100 million.”
First Lady Michelle Obama has also found herself in hot water for jetting off on lavish vacations on the taxpayers’ dime. She once even claimed that her young daughters were “Senior Staffers” in order to sidestep rules prohibiting them from joining her on a luxurious junket to South Africa and Botswana.