US First lady Melania Trump has given luxury travel a new meaning.
The spending habits of the wife of US President Donald Trump have come into question after government records obtained by Quartz showed she billed taxpayers an eye-watering AU$237,000 for largely unused hotels during a day trip to Toronto, Canada.
On September 23, 2017, Trump took a 12-hour trip to visit the Invictus Games, where she met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as Games creator, Prince Harry.
During her flying visit, she stopped at the Ritz Carlton and Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel for a handful of meetings before returning to Washington D.C around midnight, meaning she didn’t even sleep at either of the properties.
However Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, insisted the bill was standard and included a number of essential expenses.
"What I can tell you is that when the President or First Lady travels, there are people who travel ahead on the advance team to ensure safety measures, medical care, communications, motorcade needs and logistics are all in place," said Ms Grisham. "Mrs Trump travels with a much smaller contingent of staff than that of her predecessors, but the entities I mentioned above are legally required for all official travel."
But according to Quartz, the sizeable bill only covered Trump herself and the costs for her advance team — who takes care of the logistics and transportation issues — was calculated separately.
It’s not the first time Ms Trump’s spending on foreign trips has been questioned, with an AU$129,000 hotel bill covered by taxpayers during a day in Cairo, Egypt earlier this year.