White House debunks “wildly inflated” $200M-per-day price tag for Obama's India trip

According to a White House spokesman, the claim -- circulated by Rush Limbaugh and the Drudge Report -- that President Obama's November trip to India will cost the U.S. $200 million per day has “no basis in reality.”

In a November 2 article headlined, "US to spend $200 mn a day on Obama's Mumbai visit," the Press Trust of India reported:

The US would be spending a whopping $200 million (Rs. 900 crore approx) per day on President Barack Obama's visit to the city.

“The huge amount of around $200 million would be spent on security, stay and other aspects of the Presidential visit,” a top official of the Maharashtra Government privy to the arrangements for the high-profile visit said.

About 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists would accompany the President.

By noon, the Drudge Report featured a bright red link to the article that claimed: "REPORT: US to spend $200 million per day on Obama's Mumbai visit..."

Then, on the November 2 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh claimed, "$200 million a day this nation will spend on Obama's trip to India."

When Media Matters asked about the report, White House spokesman Matt Lehrich responded, “The numbers reported in this article have no basis in reality. Due to security concerns, we are unable to outline details associated with security procedures and costs, but it's safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated.”

The Press Trust of India report was picked up by a number of conservative websites, including The Daily Caller, MichelleMalkin.com, and WorldNetDaily.


Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Fox Business' Eric Bolling repeated the claim after it was debunked by the White House:

“It's called the phone!”: Beck uses wildly inflated number to attack Obama over India trip

Hannity: "$200 million a day, 3,000 people, he needs the whole Taj Mahal hotel, why?"

Fox Business' Bolling attacks Obama's India trip based on price tag White House called “wildly inflated”