First Family's Upcoming Trip To Africa Met With Controversy
The president's upcoming trip to Africa comes with a stunning price tag—up to $100 million.
The first family plans to visit Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa for an eight day trip.
The Washington Post reports security for the trip involves having an aircraft carrier stationed off shore equipped with an emergency medical center and fighter jets in the air 24 hours-a-day. But that's not all. The trip involves more than 200 secret service agents, plus 56 support vehicles including 14 limousines, and a radio jamming truck.
On the Today show, Matt Lauer said, “A lot of people are saying in difficult economic times, that's a lot of money.”
Dan Bongino is a former secret service agent. He said, "No one is disputing the fact that the president can take vacations, but that doesn't mean you should. You have to be very careful of a 'Let them eat cake' mentality setting in."
On Friday, the White House defended the costly trip and said, "On terms of the cost, we don't determine the cost of the president's security, just as President Bush didn't and President Clinton didn't."
The itinerary had included a two hour safari in Tanzania, but that part of the trip was canceled after The Washington Post reported that a 35-man assault team would be needed to "neutralize” any cheetahs and lions that got too close. Instead, the first family will visit Robben Island, the South African prison where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 long years behind bars. The prison was featured in the movie Invictus, starring Matt Damon.
Bongino said, "Is there really a pressing issue in Sub-Sahara Africa that we have to go now on a $100 million adventure?"