How much did Trump’s failed North Korea summit cost taxpayers?

The entire Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un summit looks like it may have been a costly mistake.

Not only was it it bad for Trump’s reputation at home and abroad, the meeting in Vietnam cost US taxpayers at least $6 million, according to a Quartz analysis of government spending reports and Air Force One operating costs.

That figure likely underestimates significantly the total expense of the presidential trip to Hanoi, because it doesn’t include the cost of flying advance teams to Asia in order to plan and to scout meeting locations, the extra security costs to protect the White House team, or on-the-ground costs during two refueling stops for Air Force One.

The expenditures reported by the government so far are only a partial picture, as filings are often made weeks, sometimes months, after expenses are incurred. Some filings contain more detail than others—there’s a $160,000 Secret Service expenditure that’s classified just as “CREDENTIALING VIETNAM KIM JUNG UN (sic).” Others are linked to the summit by date, location, or agency.

Here’s a bare minimum on what setting up the summit cost US taxpayers, by category:

Flight costs: At least $4.28 million

Air Force One departed Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland at 12:30pm US Eastern time on Feb. 25, stopped for two one-hour refueling stops in the UK and Qatar, and arrived in Hanoi at 9:30am ET on Feb. 26, for a total flight time of 15 hours.

Flying Air Force One from Washington to Hanoi cost $2.14 million each way, based on the Defense Department’s hourly operating rate of $142,380 for the presidential planea round-trip cost of $4.28 million. The Marine One helicopters normally used to fly Trump from the White House to Andrews weren’t used on departure because it was too windy. The president and his team traveled by motorcade. If they’re used on his return, as expected, that’s another $14,406.

Lodging: About $1.2 million

The US contingent rented an unknown number of hotel rooms, as well as conference rooms and meeting spaces, for a total of roughly $1.2 million.

  • Bitexco Hotel Management Company (JW Marriott Hanoi) $17,107
  • Bitexco Hotel Management Company (JW Marriott Hanoi) $21,455
  • Bitexco Hotel Management (JW Marriott Hanoi), $25,346
  • Bitexco Hotel Management Company (JW Marriott Hanoi) $28,875
  • Bitexco Hotel Management Company (JW Marriott Hanoi) $37,514
  • Bitexco Hotel Management Company (JW Marriott Hanoi) $38,877
  • Bitexco Hotel Management Company (JW Marriott Hanoi) $110,852
  • Melia Hanoi, conference space $157,309
  • Metropole Hanoi, conference room $12,943
  • Metropole Hanoi, conference setup $12,975
  • Metropole Hanoi, lodging $13,787
  • Metropole Hanoi, conference rental $38,581
  • Metropole Hanoi, USSS funded lodging $84,557
  • Metropole Hanoi, conference rental $121,542
  • Metropole Hanoi, conference rental $142,943
  • Metropole Hanoi, lodging (funded by USSS) $186,059
  • Misc. foreign awardees, conference space $15,151
  • Misc. foreign awardees, conference space $61,693
  • Misc. foreign awardees, paid by State Department diplomatic security $84,138
  • Misc. foreign awardees (listed as “LODGING ROOMS”) $15,226
  • Misc. foreign awardees (listed under the US government classification code for hotels), $84,138
  • Misc. foreign awardees (“HOTELS”) $44,618
  • Misc. foreign awardees (“HOTELS”) $159,784

Transportation: Approximately $224,000

The Trump team’s transport costs include a $14,000 charge for “hangar rental,” presumably for Air Force One.

Miscellaneous: Roughly $300,000

Internet connections, special lighting, drapes, and credentialing services added up to about $300,000.

  • Ardian Group, “CREDENTIALING VIETNAM KIM JUNG UN” $160,000
  • Metropole Hanoi, USSS “PIPE AND DRAPE FOR VIP VISIT” $19,182
  • Misc. foreign awardees, lighting and sound system $40,083
  • NetNam Corp., internet leased line $12,473
  • VNPT Vinaphone, internet leased line (funding office: “WHITE HOUSE COMM AGENCY”) $25,208
  • Internet leased line in Marriott $22,671
  • Bitexco Hotel Management Company (JW Marriott Hanoi), electrical items $11,819
  • Bitexco Hotel Management Company (JW Marriott Hanoi), electrical items $11,212
  • Misc. foreign awardees (listed under the US government classification code for travel agencies) $13,378





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