In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Lawsuit Seeks Costs of Michelle’s South Africa Trip

The government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Air Force seeking to obtain details and costs of First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa and Botswana June 21-27.

The request, announced today, was filed June 28, one day after White House Dossier published an examination of the trip that found it included a significant vacation component and probably cost taxpayers well over $500,000.

From the Judicial Watch announcement:

Judicial Watch is investigating the total cost of the trip to the taxpayers in the face of a ballooning federal debt and a sinking economy. As stated in an analysis by White House Dossier (the blog of White House reporter Keith Koffer, who writes for CongressDailyNational JournalRoll Call and Politico), the cost to taxpayers for the C-32 was $430,000 alone. This cost is based on an estimated charge of $12,723 an hour, which is what the Department of Defense charges other federal agencies for use of the aircraft. If a military cargo plane was included – which typically accompanies a First Lady – the cost of transportation could have escalated by another $200,000.

Other costs, such as Secret Service protection, the care and feeding of staff, and pre-trip advance work done by administration officials in Africa, cannot be determined without examining records.

While the stated goal of the trip was “youth leadership, education, health and wellness” in southern Africa, the excursion included tourist stops to historical landmarks and museums, a chance for Mrs. Obama to meet privately with Nelson Mandela – an experience she described as “surreal” – and a private safari.

The first lady brought along her mother, her daughters and two of their cousins – the children of her brother Craig Robinson.

“A visit to South Africa is important for them as a family,” said a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in South Africa prior to the trip.

210 thoughts on “Lawsuit Seeks Costs of Michelle’s South Africa Trip”

  1. About time, though no answers will be had about the depth of the corruption and graft in this administration until they’re GONE.

    God’s speed the day, too.

  2. By all means, we shouldn’t begin to question Michelle Antoinette’s trip to Africa since it’s so “important for them as a family.” What about what’s important for the taxpayers of AMERICA, who’re struggling to make ends meet, not taking vacations and who’re overwhelmed with the waste and abuse of our lawmakers’ (read ‘ruling elite’) lavish lifestyles? If it’s so important for Moochelle to take her family to Southern Africa, SHE should pay for it out of her own pocket. It’s not like she and Barack baby aren’t multi millionaires and can’t afford it! Their every wish and whim, their every expense while they’re occupying the White House (and for years afterwards) will be charged to the taxpayer. They should be setting an example of thrift, frugality and consideration of the taxpayer. For FLOTUS to take a separate jet/motorcade/et al to Martha’s Vineyard because she can’t wait four hours for the love of her life and go with him, is a total waste of our money. Or do they not like being together? Is that why Barack is out on the golf course all of the time? I thought taking a vacation to “be with family” was the goal but it seems more and more as if he tries to get AWAY from family.

    1. Good post —

      MoochMORE’s stated purpose in Africa of “youth leadership, education, health and wellness” meant her displaying herself to an admiring crowd of kids and suggesting that because she has genes from Africa and thereby was able to work the affirmative action scam in the U.S., these African kids have a future, too. Comparing apples with oranges, but MoochMORE got a vaycay out of it!

  3. Michelle My Belle called this a State Visit when she went to Africa with

    all of her family , her Mother, and her brother’s kids….the President of

    Africa refused to meet with her—said he had no State visit with the

    President’s wife….Surprise Surprise it was a Safari for her whole family

    how stupid of America of course it was another extrvaganza of My Belle

    Michelle…..this country cannot affored this woman–I suggest we fire her–

    nothing in the constitution saying we cannot get rid of the first lady—we

    have to keep her husband another yr.,but we do not have to keep this


  4. “A visit to South Africa is important for them as a family,” Well then, THEIR family should pay for it; not the American family. MEchelle took her 2 daughters, mother and 2 cousins; that sounds like a FAMILY trip to me. MEchelle seems to have no problem spending OUR money: her outrageous trip to Spain with family; the family trip to Africa and twice now she has not wanted to wait for Obama to go on vacation (Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard) so she got her own jet, security team and motorcade to start her vacation earlier and Obama followed. This is outrageous, blatant and narcisstic at a time when we have a huge deficit and people are hurting! They work for US! The Obamas are out-of-touch and shameless as they party, vacation and spend lavisly all the while telling us they feel our pain. Obama is done and he has to know it; maybe that’s why he’s grabbing every last freebie he can, while he can.

    1. “This is outrageous, blatant and narcisstic at a time when we have a huge deficit and people are hurting!”

      It’s ouktragious, blatant, and narcissistic whether or not we have a huge deficit and people are hurting! It’s those things no matter what the background against which MIchelle Antoinette’s actions take place.

  5. Let this be the start of many of Michelle’s little trips and extra trips for a few hours extra time that is costly. And who pays for those clothes I want to see
    that Obama paid out of pocket! I think there is a rule that she cannot accept
    the clothes, jewelry etc as gifts.

      1. I guess they don’t have mirrors in Michelle world. Those clothes are costly, they are too small and made for women half her age! Not to
        mention never age appropriate or what a First Lady should wear.
        FLOTUS is not a shopping spree for 4 years and we are not a credit

  6. Last Friday, thousands of people lined up in Atlanta for hours in stifling heat, in the hope of getting a job that might pay $50k before taxes and other deductions.

    On the same day, the Obamas left for the Vineyard to stay in a place that costs $50k per WEEK before additional expenses. They even added a few tens of thousands in costs by having Michelle Antoinette and the girls fly a few hours earlier.

    This at a time when many Americans have had to forgo ANY family vacations for YEARS because of the lousy economy.

    A true leader might have set an example by scaling back or even canceling the vacation. They might at least have flown together to save some money. Maybe they could have used those fancy new buses instead of flying…?

    But then, as I have said before, Obama is not a leader – list any qualities that you think a leader of a country should have….

    … now list those that Obama has demonstrated (an engaging smile does not count). Personally, I cannot think of even ONE.

    None of the potential Republican candidates is perfect but any one of them would be an improvement.

  7. The Obama clan is a group of moochers. They have never really worked a day in their lives but have depended on the generosity of others or be lodged in a cush position [Michelle in the Chicago health care organization or hospital. Her work was insignificant but the title was impressive.
    After generations of slavery in the US and the world, Michelle and BHO have always lived off the work and sweat of others. They only thing they have is resentment that others have more than they do.
    I refer to Michelle’s living the high and good life is payment of resentment dividends. She spreads the wealth of resentment with her extended family and friends. Nothing like cashing in when the store door is left open and the cash register is full of money.

  8. The waste and abuse of power is pheonmenal.
    Phenomenal and annoying, like the Obama’s taking NINE (9) SUV’s and Limos on a 1 mile juant on the Vineyard to “visit” friends. Or hosting extravagant parties when 20,000,000 americans cannot even find a job.
    I am happy for them to visit Africa and that it is “important to them as a family”, ……but this trip coupled with the Spain trip, the NYC trips, the NC trip, the Gulfcoast trip, the Hawaii trips….. is getting to be so over the top. With more families on food stamps than ever, with the weekly new jobless postings at 400,000+ (Again)… would think that the Obamas would plan and execute their family/vacation events in a less conspiculous, more thrifty manner.


    1. Show me a prior First Lady that was this flagrantly extravagant and abused privileges of being married to the President. The Obama’s are the ones being disrespectful of our Nation. Respect is earned, not given. These people were given the benefit of the doubt and spit on that daily.

    2. Moo-chelle is not a leader. I don’t recall Laura Bush taking such extravagant vacations. Besides Laura Bush has more class in her little finger than Moo-chelle ever thought about having. Not to mention Laura Bush was ALWAYS proud of America.

    3. Looks like we found one of the 26%!
      White House sources (yesterday) claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers’ money on vacations alone in the past year.
      Is this in addition to those expenses??
      Rounds of golf by Obama – 52 in less than three years.
      George Bush – 24 in 8 years.
      You get the idea!?

    4. Hey Dave…..take a hike………
      This is deliberate to futher breaking the back of this Country and a slap in our face………..Are you a moron or just a liberal, with that well known “mental disorder???” Wake up, unless you think you’ll enjoy being a communist. You are truely a fool if you buy into anything these marxists say. They are ANTI-AMERICAN

    5. Laura Bush never spent the kind of money MO does. How about
      $795 belt and earrings $2500 a sweater $695 and I could go on for
      pages. No comparison. How many people would her belt feed?

    6. Write complete sentences in proper lower case or readers will be inclined to think you’re illiterate. Likewise, utilize your grammar skills. If you want to be taken seriously, write effectively. When liberals learn to write and express themselves succinctly (like Joe Biden), then maybe a learned society will try harder to take you seriously.

      Your defense of Mooch-elle, the First Spender, is laughable. Her exploitation of our tax dollars IS the nation’s business.

    7. I’m old enough to remember the Reagan administration & everything Nancy Reagan did was examined and commented on. Her gowns (state events) were constantly reported on and complained about the cost. The new china that was bought for the white house, All this and more were reported on and slammed by the main stream media. They never reported until years later that all these items were bought through donations.

    8. Dave, wake up!!! michelle obama has 21 personal aids, 21! laura bush had 1. In fact most the past first ladies had only 1, with the exception of Elanor Roesevelt who most will agree was a very busy woman who did alot of good with her position, had the most aids before michelle obama came alone with 3. What has Michelle obama done? a few disney comercials. what the hell could she need 21 aids for. Actually a few of that 21 are aids for her aids. Typical 1 comes up and takes the whole possy with them.

  10. It gets worse. The Obamas are going to Bali in November even though they already visited Indonesia recently. However, the girls, sadly, didn’t get to go.
    Is this a make-up for them?

    Interestingly, the Obamas went to Bali for three weeks when he had writer’s block attempting to write his first book.. The trip didn’t cure the writer’s block. Only Bill Ayres could do that.

    1. How much you want to bet he’s gonna meet up with billy boy again, and he’ll write another book for the poser. I always suspect who they meet up with, esp. in these far-flung, exotic locals. Look how she was sneaking around in Spain, doing Lord knows what!

      And to that flaming twit troll below, Dave! Go back to your hole or the mental home, your playtime furlough on the computer must be over by now.

      1. Poor dave the progressive.
        Well m\Mr progressive lets fill you in some shall we.
        We have 9+ unemployment in America and that is thanks to your buddy obama, He never leads he follows he has yet to put anything (except that budget that increased the deficit by 3 Trillion) on paper I guess he does not want to be held accountable. I am going to take it you either have a job or your one that is on welfare and do not want the checks to stop. Well they will stop when he is thrown out of office in 2012 so save up on those checks and stock up on the canned good you will need them. One more thing I have to say you must not be married because no women would stand for a spineless person as you.

  11. “Michelle will be following in Laura Bush’s and previous recent First Lady’s footsteps all who visited South Africa during their respective terms as First Lady. During her husband’s presidency Laura Bush visited Africa 5 times and traveled to 10 different countries, the most visits than any other First Lady before her. Bush also traveled widely visiting Burma, Afghanistan and the Middle East…During her travels, Laura Bush’s twin daughters Barbara and Jenna accompanied her on tours to remote villages.”

    “Similarly,while on Spring break in 1997, Chelsea Clinton joined her mother in South Africa during Hilary Clinton’s two-week Africa visit. ”

    Doesn’t seem so unusual.

    1. While you are doing comparisons, look up the expenses between the two trips and the agendas. You’ll be surprised. Also, none of the other First Ladies took ridiculous entourages with them and lived like the Queen of England at every stop. Safari? Renting out entire floors of European hotels and dragging their girlfriends along?

      Nice try, though.

      1. Which of Lady Bush’s 5 trips to Africa should I use as comparison? And please point me in the direction of the site where you found the actual, verifiable expenses for all of these trips – both Michelle’s and Laura’s. I am genuinely interested and would love to see the numbers on both sides!

    2. Mrs. Bush had a real reason for going to Africa, MoochMORE had a made-up excuse — displaying herself as some sort of living goddess of accomplishment. Even an African reporter observed that there is no comparison between Michelle Antoinette’s background and the future that African children face.

  12. Great work Keith Koffer or is that Koffler? Congrats on the recognition from such a great patriot organization like Judicial Watch. Just be sure to watch your back. The increased notoriety will intensify the attacks, but you’ve got tough skin.

    I’m glad to see Judicial Watch take the lead in suing for release of the charges. Congress won’t do anything about their spending, so maybe the American people can. I think we will all be amazed at the price the American taxpayer paid for Michelle and her family’s pilgrimage to find their roots in Africa.

    1. Thanks Susan – I was very glad to see them doing this. They’re pit bulls and hopefully will be able to get some good information. I was just in shock to see the cousins and her mom getting off the Air Force plane in South Africa. Just unbelievable hubris.

      1. To be fair, I can understand her Mother being along for the trip. She is the acting nanny for the girls; but the cousins? If they re-imburse for the trip, no problem. But a trip to S. Africa on a coach’s salary? I don’t think so.

        Keep up the good work, Keith. After the uproar about Mrs. Obama’s trip to Spain last year, someone decided to be clever and call the trip to S. Africa a state trip. Call it what you want, it’s still an expensive vacation. Taxpayers aren’t stupid.

  13. finally!!!!!!….that lady has been spend spend spend since her husband got in to office. I don’t see why she needs to travel with a family entourage…we got momma and cousins going to South Africa…why?

  14. Way to get the ball rolling, Keith!

    Since I’m no legal scholar, what happens if JW gathers enough evidence to conclude that this was not an official visit and should have been covered by personal funds?

  15. Michelle, the daughter of a prominent Democrat politician, has never wanted for anything…she’s so out of touch with those of us that actually had to work for our career achievements.

  16. The Obamas have used a very thin veneer of “official” business to cover more than this trip to Africa. The fund-raising trips that include 15min visits to a military base or a one hour visit to a factory are used as cover for out of Washinton fundraisers in cities from coast to coast.
    While other Presidents and their wives might have done the same thing doesn’t make it right.

  17. “First Lady Michelle Obama caught hell last year when she flew off to Spain with her daughter Sasha and a handful of close friends for five days of fun in the sun.

    Never mind that the Obama entourage paid for their swanky lodgings or that the trip included a goodwill lunch with Spain’s King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and Princess Letizia.”

    “Laura Bush was also a frequent flier who often brought her daughters along for the ride.

    Her first foreign foray was a ten-day trip to Paris, Budapest and Prague in 2002 with daughter Jenna, who was then 20.

    The White House made sure Laura Bush had at least one “official” event in each city, but she and Jenna spent the bulk of their time at each locale shopping and taking in the sights.”

  18. How is no one sickened by these people and their flagrant extravagance? They are dining on pheasant while the unwashed masses starve. Double-dip recession around the corner, historical low new home sales, unemployment knocking on 10%, the U.S. on the verge of default because of overspending and recklessly distributed entitlements… where does it end? Yet Democrats can’t stop slobbering over their Golden Boy and act like he can do no wrong- in fact, he can do no right!

  19. It appears, from all reports, that we have a family who feel entitled to play on the taxpayer dime, and damn the cost to the country or how inopportune the timing may appear. “It’s our time to get ours..” seems to be the new administration’s mantra.
    (BTW, for the Libs reading this who may be preparing to toss in a worn out race card: my opinion remains the same regardless of skin color, party affiliation, or sex. ANYONE who fits the description above is raping the government’s till thinking that it’s theirs for the taking Just so ya know…)

    1. I’ll be the one to take it a step further, as I could care less what others think about me: Moochele and her wife, err, husband are bleeding the taxpayers for these trips and calling it reparations behind closed doors. They both, especially The Cow hate whitey. They both probably feel entitled to these lavish trips knowing full well the cost involved.

  20. greedy slime-bags.
    leeching everything they can off the tax paying people of this country. talk about the ultimate in “entitlement” attitude. she and he need to be prosecuted for fraud, theft of services, dereliction of duty, and treason.

  21. I’m a spokesman for myself, and a trip to Europe is important for myself and my family.Are the taxpayers going to pay for my trip? I think I’d rather meet someone other than that commie ex-convict nelson mandela. Notice I didn’t capitalize his name,strictly out of disrespect.

  22. Oh,one more thing,they should quit treating the White House like it’s the projects.Only the people that are supposed to live there should.That doesn’t mean the entire tribe,just the immediate family.

  23. For those pointing out other first ladies have had their share of personal travel on official trips, I might just like to point out to them that our debt was not near what it is now and that our unemployed numbers weren’t catastrophic. Our country is heading into dark territory and this administration acts as if they could care less. Fatass might comment on the state of the military once in a blue moon, but has she even mentioned the out of work? Those loosing their homes? I would be surprised if she even knew about it, it’s just not in her atmosphere.

    1. “We should all be working together on this,” Michelle Obama said Tuesday in an interview with USA TODAY after the official launch of her new “Joining Forces” initiative at the White House. “These are pretty solid Americans out here that are making these sacrifices quietly for all the rest of us.”

      Left behind when their loved ones go to war, the wives,husbands and children of the military’s 2.2 million soldiers, sailors and airmen often face lonely struggles with issues as critical as finding jobs and changing schools to tasks as mundane as mowing the lawn and shoveling snow.

      “Unlike our troops, military families don’t wear uniforms so we don’t always see them,” the first lady said during an East Room ceremony.

    2. Federal Spending was actually higher during Reagan and G.W. Bush and a greater increase in debt. Those should have also been days “heading into dark territory” as well.

      Not sure if we can post links here, but just Google: us debt by administration

      My source is the wiki article: National debt by U.S. presidential terms

        1. By no means is President Obama my hero. I think he is a weak leader and definitely lacks vision. I have no particular desire to have him in Office for another 4 years.

          My point is not to change history. My point is to show the hypocrisy that exists in many of these comments. The pure hate and malice is frankly appalling. I understand people having opinions but name calling does nothing but make a person seem petty and childish. Being blind to the facts based on bias is another thing altogether. And, yes, I am aware that both sides do it.

          Also, there are pdf documents under “References” of the wiki article I noted that are from It is from those documents that the information in the charts come from.

  24. As if we will here anymore on this latest adventure to include the obama history as the rug is getting pretty lumpy from things being swept under it. I am sure it will die in a short while.

  25. “A visit to South Africa is important for them as a family,” said a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in South Africa prior to the trip.

    Why would that be important? Would it be because it is on the same continent as their dad’s birthplace?

  26. Obamas living on taxpayera expence.I pay for my own vacations.I guess that’s why I havn’t had one since The Grifters moved into the WH.

  27. I have a feeling this is just the beginning. She seems to think that she is entitled to whatever she wants now that she is in the White House.

  28. The cynic in me says this will all go away, very quietly. If Americans really cared about blatant, narsacisstic entitlement, we never would have elected this pair of frauds.

  29. Is this in addition to the $10,000,000 (as reported yesterday) that she spent over the past year?? These two leave the American people dumbfounded… There’s a name for people that spend money like this.

  30. This vineyard trip is the family trip…please!
    They spend as much time apart as possible..he on the endless golf course, smooching with friends and donors and who know what the wife is doing..more then likely eating.

  31. Hey, she’s spent $10 million+ on her vacations since these cockroaches got into the White House. Can we get that money back too?

  32. It is obvious this was a personal trip made with multiple family members and US taxpayers should not have to pay for this trip. I’ve been unemployed, no fault of my own for 2 years and would have loved just to be able to drive 2 hours to the beach and spend a day. Heck, truth, I just want a job.

  33. Yeah, Right – Michelle Obama has Vacation-itis and cost the taxpayer 10 Million (by latest stats) on taxpayer vacations. South Africa was certainly NOT a business trip. Get these people out of my White House.—and bring me a new Senate too.

  34. WHY is it important? Are they South Africans now? It wasn’t important, it wasn’t needed, and the Obamas should be paying for their vacations like everyone else. Oh wait, we can’t afford them cause there are no jobs.

    1. It was important for MoochMORE to get a photo of herself with poor Nelson Mandela, who suffers from dementia and probably didn’t know he was being used as a prop for someone’s vanity pix. I think MoochMORE plans a political career as a Senator at least (don’t believe her office’s denials!) and a nice pic with Mandela will do a lot to impress the stupid.

  35. I do not know how many people remember that her mother is living the White House. That said, Between all of her trips that WE are paying for I wonder is she proud of this country yet??

    Perhaps when she went to Africa she was looking for a place to buy when he is thrown out of office in 2012. And if she finds one then s=they have some where to go, BUT I would like to see them get away with what they do her over there.

  36. Sad that our government, priding itself on transparency, won’t release this information without being sued, costing more taxpayer money.

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