Trump makes first trip to Camp David as president

U.S. President Donald J. Trump boards Marine One with first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron Trump, as they depart the White House for Camp David, June 17, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Pool / Getty Images

President Trump is making his first trip to presidential getaway Camp David on Saturday after five months in office and nine weekends spent at his private clubs in Florida and New Jersey.

Mr. Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania and son Barron, departed for the retreat on Saturday and will return to the White House Sunday afternoon. Mr. Trump has received some criticism for spending so many weekends at his private clubs, trips that cost more in travel expenses and security than stays at Camp David, tucked away in the Maryland mountains.

At this same point in their presidencies, former Presidents George W. Bush had already made 11 visits to Camp David; Ronald Reagan, eight; Barack Obama, four; and Bill Clinton, two, according to CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller. Those presidents made extensive use of the presidential getaway. In total, Mr. Reagan made 186 visits to Camp David; Mr. Bush, 149; Mr. Clinton, 54; and Mr. Obama, 39.

Critics have raised questions not only over the cost of Mr. Trump's visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, but over access and security concerns. Club members who can afford to be members -- and the membership price has increased in recent months -- have access to the president that average-income Americans may not, and the club was not built with the security needs of a presidential detail in mind. 

Camp David, on the other hand, is relatively isolated on 200 acres in Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland. The venue includes golfing, a pool, and a lodge, horseback riding and fishing, among other amenities and activities. 

In the past, presidents have used Camp David as a place to host foreign leaders, as well as for their personal use.

CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller contributed to this report 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.