The short answer is that no one really knows for sure. It reportedly costs about $200,000 per hour to operate Air Force One.
Hillary Clinton and her campaign – whatever proportion they’ll be paying – certainly won’t be paying based on the full rate. CNN explained:
The cost of flying Air Force One for political travel is divided between the federal government (using taxpayer dollars) and the candidate’s political organization. Because Obama is traveling to Charlotte solely for the purpose of stumping for Clinton, her campaign (or the Democratic National Committee) would have to foot a portion of the bill whether the candidate was aboard or not.
The exact breakdown of how much the campaign will owe, however, isn’t precisely known. In 2012, when Obama was running for re-election, his campaign reimbursed the government millions of dollars for Air Force One travel based on a pro-rated share of an equivalent-sized charter plane.
Travelers who must reimburse the government for political trips include the candidate and any staff traveling on behalf of her campaign. Other passengers, including security personnel and medical staff, aren’t required to reimburse the government for their portion of the trip.
Donald Trump of course wants to know if this is a taxpayer-subsidized campaign trip. Since Obama’s going to Charlotte for the sole purpose of campaigning for Hillary Clinton – his preferred heir to the throne – she and her campaign will have to foot part of the bill. But Trump wants to know how much?
Taxpayers are paying a fortune for the use of Air Force One on the campaign trail by President Obama and Crooked Hillary. A total disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2016
Why is President Obama allowed to use Air Force One on the campaign trail with Crooked Hillary? She is flying with him tomorrow. Who pays?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2016
As CNN explained, “the formula breaking down campaign and official costs, however, has been kept secret by White Houses going back to the 1970s.”
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