On Tuesday, President Obama will make his first campaign stop alongside presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The two will touch down in North Carolina on Air Force One, and the Charlotte Observer makes explicit mention of how the Clinton campaign is footing the costs for this trip. This would presumably include expenses associated with running Air Force One, which is more than $200,000 per hour. A White House official assures Zeke Miller of TIME, “As in other administrations, we follow all rules and regulations to ensure that the DNC or other relevant political committee pays what is required for the President to travel to political events.”
Since Clinton raised $40 million in June, her campaign could likely afford the full cost of running Air Force One. However, CNN notes the ambiguous nature of exactly how much Clinton will pay and uses Obama’s 2012 campaign as an example. His campaign shelled out millions of dollars “based on a pro-rated share of an equivalent-sized charter plane” for anything associated with his reelection. As one would expect, those waters are muddied for a sitting president, but CNN notes that the amount Clinton will pay “is far less than the actual costs of flying Air Force One.”
Enter Donald Trump’s tweeting fingers, which would like to know “who pays” for the use of Air Force One. He calls this “a total disgrace.”
This is a fair question, but it’s worth a reminder that Trump uses a taxpayer-funded Secret Service detail, even when he’s traveling to Scotland to promote a golf course. Trump requested this protection in October and received his granted request a month later. This detail doesn’t come cheap, and while it might not be cool that Clinton won’t reimburse all operating costs for Air Force One, they’re both spending plenty of taxpayer dollars.