Trump flees for luxury vacation as grand jury pursues Russia collusion


It is clear that Donald Trump does not enjoy being president, since he keeps making the American people pay for him to escape from the duties of the office — and from a deepening special counsel investigation.

Donald Trump's first seven months in office have been an endless series of disasters and humiliations.

The White House is reeling from their failure to strip health care from the poor and sick, and from the mounting investigations into Trump's ties with Russia that have led even Republicans to curtail his diplomatic power.

But rather than confront his problems and do his job, Trump is taking a break — a long one.

He quietly scheduled a 17-day vacation to his private golf club in New Jersey two weeks ago, on which he officially set off Thursday — the same day it was reported that special counsel Robert Mueller has empaneled a grand jury in Washington as the next step in his Russia probe.

Trump's departure also comes on the heels of a new report that he privately told his golfing friends the White House is a "dump" — a sentiment underscoring his desire to continuously spend taxpayer money to pretend he is not the president.

This is Trump's first multi-week vacation since taking office, but it is far from his first jaunt away from the White House.

He has day-tripped away from D.C. dozens of times, on many occasions charging the government to put him up at his own golf clubs and properties:

These trips are jaw-droppingly expensive. Despite the fact that Trump complained nearly every time President Obama took a vacation, he is on track to exceed the travel budget for Obama's entire presidency in just his first year.

Trump's visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida alone have already cost the Coast Guard $6.6 million, at a time when the department is facing budget cuts and deferring maintenance on their fleet due to lack of money. Meanwhile, financial disclosures show the club has made $37.2 million in revenue since last year.

The American people should not be picking up the tab for Trump to indulge his desire to escape the responsibilities he swore a constitutional oath to execute — or the special counsel investigation that continues to close in around him.

And Trump should seriously consider why he even still wants to remain president if this is the level of detachment he has from the office.