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Melania Trump, Barron Trump and Donald Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (AP) Melania Trump, Barron Trump and Donald Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (AP)

Melania Trump, Barron Trump and Donald Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (AP)

Noah Y. Kim
By Noah Y. Kim August 24, 2020

Melania Trump’s $675,000 travel bill was to care for her son, not to get her hair done.

If Your Time is short

• Military flight records show that Melania Trump incurred $675,000 in taxpayer-funded travel expenses in the first three months of the Trump presidency.​

• She traveled frequently to New York to spend time with her son, Barron, not “to get her hair done.” 

In the lead-up to Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention, a viral Facebook post portrayed the first lady as an spendthrift wasting taxpayer money. 

"In 3 months, Melania took 21 trips to NY, to get her hair done, at taxpayer cost of $675,000 or $32,143/trip," it claimed. 

The post cited figures from a Wall Street Journal article, which used military records to show that the first lady took 21 flights between New York Florida, and Washington, D.C., in the first three months of Donald Trump’s presidency. The post accurately claims that the trips cost $675,000 and that American taxpayers footed the bill. 

This spending level was far higher than what Trump’s predecessor as first lady racked up. Records obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch revealed that Michelle Obama’s solo travel cost taxpayers an average of $350,000 a year, or about half of what Melania Trump accrued between January and April 2017. 

However, the post falsely claims that Melania Trump took these trips "to get her hair done." 

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The first lady’s high travel expenses reflected her unusual living arrangements. For the first three months of the Trump presidency, she commuted between the White House and Trump Tower while her son, Barron, finished out fifth grade in New York. 

As the Wall Street Journal notes, there have been no allegations that Melania Trump spent money improperly. 

Our ruling

A viral Facebook post claimed that "Melania took 21 trips to NY, to get her hair done, at taxpayer cost of $675,000 or $32,143/trip" in a three month period. 

Military flight records show that the first lady spent $675,000 on 21 trips between Washington,  Florida and New York. However, she frequently traveled to New York to take care of her son, Barron, not "to get her hair done."

We rate this post False. ​

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Melania Trump’s $675,000 travel bill was to care for her son, not to get her hair done.

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