The White House is unable to say whether American taxpayers are funding the spring break trip of Natalie Biden, the president's granddaughter.
President Biden traveled to San Diego on Monday, where he met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
According to the Associated Press, his daughter Ashley and granddaughter Natalie, the eldest child of the late Beau Biden, accompanied him on the trip. Biden's stop in San Diego was the first destination of a three-day trip to California and Nevada.
At the end of a press gaggle between White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the media, Natalie became the subject of questions.
"Why is Natalie Biden on the trip?" a reporter asked.
"As you know, the president’s family tends to travel with him — right? — pretty often. So that's not uncommon," Jean-Pierre responded. "Natalie is on spring break. And so, she wanted to spend time with her Pop. So she joined her Pop on this trip."
The reporter followed up, asking who is financing Natalie's travel expenses.
"When members of the president's family travel with him when he's on official business and they don’t necessarily have a role, does the president or members of his family reimburse the federal government for their travel expenses?" the reporter asked.
Shockingly, Jean-Pierre said she doesn't know who is responsible for funding Natalie's expenses.
"That's a good question. I would have to look into how it works for members of the president’s family. I actually don't know," she said. "But I would look into that and get back to you. I actually don’t know how that works. You might know better than I. I would have to look into that."
While the exact rules about reimbursement for Air Force One travel are murky, typically non-official travel by non-government officials is reimbursed to taxpayers. Even journalists flying aboard the presidential 747 pay the equivalent of a commercial fee for their travel.
So the question remains: Because Natalie is a private citizen and not conducting business on behalf of the government, who will reimburse taxpayers for her travel expenses?
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