The use of military aircraft to support presidential travel began with President Franklin Roosevelt, the GAO said in its report to Barrasso. So that’s not necessarily anything new.
The cost of presidential travel - particularly vacation travel - has long been a political bone of contention. Typically whichever political party is out of power rails against it, and whichever party is in power defends it.
The conservative group Judicial Watch reported in July that it had added up almost $80 million in travel by Obama and his family since the president took office in 2009.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said at the time, “President Obama’s travel is a scandal. It’s about his abuse of the office and his abuse of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.”