Trump’s Flyin’ in Style on Your Dime

A few days ago Politico reported that the Secret Service was paying a big chunk of money to fly on Trump’s airplane even though the plane wasn’t more expensive to fly with them on the plane. That story basically amounted to a quirk of normal procedure. The Secret Service picks up the cost of the travel of the agents who are traveling with the candidate to protect him or her. But it’s Trump’s own plane and he always travels on it. So it’s a bit cheesy. But it’s mainly because Trump is the only candidate who owns his own jetliner (and Tag Air Inc., the ‘airline’ which is comprised of Trump’s various airplanes and helicopters.)

But now Huffington Post has uncovered a new part of the story.

It turns out that because it’s Trump’s plane and done up with typically Trumpian over-the-top luxury it actually seats very few people. That means the Secret Service detail makes up well over half the people flying on the plane.

What does that mean?

Well, that means you the taxpayer are now picking up the tab for at least 78% of the costs of the jet Trump flies around in. Huffpo estimates that the total the US government will pay to run Trump’s jet will hit $3 million by election day.

As a point of comparison, that will be almost twice what the Secret Service paid to the Romney campaign for the costs of travel. Romney’s plane seated 150; Trump’s seats 43 or possibly fewer. When the plane can only seat that many people, most are going to be security.

Why the difference? Again, Romney – and every other candidate for decades – chartered a normal jet. But Trump is flying around in a Trump mansion in the air. So much of the plane is taken up on gold plated bathrooms, a full bedroom suite, a media room and so forth that the security detail makes up most of the remaining people on the plane. And that means you pay for Trump’s plane, or at least about 3/4s of it.

If that’s not good enough, since the plane is actually owned by a Trump business, the cost of the travel nets a profit that goes to Trump. Excited now? Me too.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: