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DNC to pay for some of first lady's travel to Hunter Biden trial

First lady Jill Biden's two transatlantic flights using military aircraft cost an estimated $345,000.
Jill Biden
Posted at 7:39 AM, Jun 11, 2024

As Hunter Biden awaits his verdict in a federal gun trial, there has been one person who has gone to great lengths to be in the courtroom with him.

First lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden's stepmother, has been present for multiple days of the trial. As her husband, President Joe Biden, visited France ahead of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the first lady traveled to France last Wednesday, only for her to return to Delaware for the trial on Thursday. She then rejoined President Biden after Friday's hearing.

On Monday, a Democratic National Committee spokesperson confirmed to Scripps News that it would pay for the first-class travel of the first lady "at a specified rate provided under law." The DailyMail was the first to report on the DNC's plan to cover Jill Biden's travel expenses.

The DailyMail's report came amid concerns that the first lady's transatlantic travel would be costly for taxpayers. The White House Military Office determines the hourly cost to operate the aircraft used to transport dignitaries like Jill Biden. The first lady generally travels in a Boeing C-32 aircraft flown by the military.

According to the White House Military Office, the aircraft costs $13,816 per hour to operate. The DailyMail said that Biden was in the air for over 24 hours, placing the total cost of her two round trips from the U.S. to France at over $345,000.

President Joe Biden speaks during ceremonies to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

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However, due to security considerations, the first lady cannot fly commercially.

The Democratic National Committee would not say exactly how much of the travel it would cover.

Having the DNC cover travel expenses is not an uncommon practice. The Associated Press reported that the DNC will pay for some expenses when President Biden and others travel for campaign events. However, the DNC will not pay for the travel expenses for the Secret Service and other officials who must accompany the president. That means, no matter what, taxpayers will pay for some of the first family's travel.

Between January 2023 and March 2024, the DNC deposited $6.5 million into an escrow account intended to be used to cover travel expenses.