In the three months before she moved to the White House, Melania Trump spent $675,000 on trips aboard Air Force jets — more than twice what her predecessor Michelle Obama spent in an average year.
The first lady used the jets to take 48 flights after President Trump's inauguration, in the three-month period when she lived in New York while son Barron Trump finished the school year, the "Wall Street Journal" reported. The flights were taken between New York City, Florida and Washington.
The "Journal" noted that there's no evidence the first lady's trips were improper. But they were historically expensive. Michelle Obama's travel over eight years cost $2.8 million, averaging about $350,000 annually.
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During the Obama administration, Donald Trump often complained on Twitter about the first couple's travel — particularly the first lady's. "They love to spend money," he tweeted about Michelle Obama's 2010 trip to Spain with one of her daughters. He tweeted several times about Michelle Obama's 2012 ski trip, which cost about $83,000 for Secret Service protection, travel and accommodations.
“It is no secret that Mrs. Trump lived in New York City the first few months of the administration so that her son could finish school. The trips mentioned in this story are examples of Mrs. Trump juggling dual roles—putting her son first while also fulfilling some of her duties as first lady,” Stephanie Grisham, a spokesperson for Melania Trump, told the "Journal."
Some of Melania Trump's flights were more expensive than others: She flew 27 times on jets based at Joint Base Andrews, which made special trips to transport the first lady without other passengers. Air Force spokesperson Erika Yepsen said that the Air Force works "diligently to ensure it acts as a good steward of taxpayers’ money while meeting the requirements of every mission it’s assigned regardless of where the mission occurs, what the mission is or who the mission supports."