— -- It can certainly be expensive to hit a few rounds with PGA star Tiger Woods.
President Obama's 2013 golfing trip with Woods cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $3.6 million, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.
These costs consisted of the operating expenses of Air Force One, supporting aircraft, and U.S. Coast Guard small boats, as well as travel expenses, which include per diem commercial airfare and rental cars for Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security personnel supporting the trip, according to the report. It does not include the salaries and benefits of U.S. government civilian and military personnel traveling with the president or involved with agency travel preparations, the GAO said.
On Feb. 15, 2013, Obama flew from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to Chicago to deliver remarks on the economy. He then flew to Palm Beach, Florida, for vacation, where he golfed with Woods before returning to Joint Base Andrews.
The GAO review was conducted in response to a request from Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, who served at the time as a ranking member of the Senate subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
GAO did not make any recommendations in the report.
A White House official stresses that it did not participate in calculating the costs detailed in the report, and therefore cannot comment on the GAO's specific analysis.
"That being said, as the report notes, the President of the United States must be ready to travel anywhere in the world on a moment's notice, and the President flies on military aircraft on all trips, regardless of the type of travel," the official noted. "The Department of Defense has been providing military aircraft to safely and securely transport the President since 1962, when President John F. Kennedy became the first President to fly in a jet built specifically for the use of the President."