Washington — May 15, 2018, 6:36 PM ET

Trump puts $10 million price tag on Russia probe


Wedged in the middle of a Tuesday morning tweet by President Donald Trump bashing the news media and boasting about his poll numbers was a complaint about the “$10,000,000 Russia Witch Hunt.”

So where does that "$10,000,000" number come from? The only budget figures for the special counsel released so far were in the statement of expenditures that the Justice Department put out in December.

PHOTO:President Donald Trump addresses the press at the White House, May 8, 2018.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
PHOTO:President Donald Trump addresses the press at the White House, May 8, 2018.

That statement used broad numbers to show that the special counsel spent $6.7 million on staff and expenses since its creation on May 17, 2017, through September 2017, the end of the 2017 fiscal year. Justice Department officials say the next report, expected to be released in coming weeks, will show expenditures from October through March.

The Acting Attorney General approves the special counsel's budget but Justice Department regulations make clear that “a special counsel shall be provided all appropriate resources by the Department of Justice.”

Sources familiar with the matter told ABC News the $10 million figure comes from a placeholder number in the FY 2019 Department of Justice budget request. The actual amount is $10,400,000 for the line item titled “INDEPENDENT COUNSEL (PERMANENT INDEFINITE).” That number, however, is not an indication of what the special counsel has spent or is expected to spend.

Based on the totals in the first expenditure report, it is quite possible or even likely that the total expenses for the Mueller probe will exceed $10 million. As the investigation nears the one year mark, it remains unclear when the probe will be wrapped up.

News - Trump puts $10 million price tag on Russia probe

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  • inonepeice

    How did President Trump come up with $10 million Russia probe price tag?
    He pulled it out of his rear end, like every other claim he makes. Probably like when he was talking to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

    Trump: I didn't even know. ... I had no idea. I just said, 'You're wrong.'

  • Bernard Sandan

    Fire Mueller !!!! that money could have used on homeless people all over America and the veterans on the streets asking for money ! What a waste Mueller you really ought to be fired and so With Rosenstein. Trump can find better more talented people.

  • HadEnoughYet

    Better question, why doesn't Trump care if the US acts against Russian's influence in our elections?

  • student123

    Hmm. I wonder how much taxpayer money has been spent to accommodate Trump's golf sessions at his resort every weekend? And let's not forget ongoing expenses by Pruitt and prior expenses by Mnuchin and his wife to romp around the country and the world all on the taxpayers dime. Too bad Trump wasn't concerned about cost then.

  • CutterTeam

    If Trump really wants to destroy the Mueller investigation, he should simply buy it and try to turn it into a casino.

  • John Barron

    Guilty, Your honor...

  • TexasVulcan

    How much is each golf outing to Florida?

  • b rubble

    No Donald, it is a "Which Hunt" as to "which" one of you tRump's to lock up first.

  • b rubble

    And you Donald have wasted about $60 million dollars in a year and a half on just golfing and we have to have government shutdowns and no money for programs. And your best poll numbers aren't that high and that's with you exaggerating the numbers even using fake news and polls.

  • mellack

    Freedom isn't free.

  • No one you know

    So if it has indeed cost $10m for 1yr. of Mueller and his team, based on a 40hr. work week that comes to about $83 dollars a minute. In comparison Trump paid Stormy Daniels $130k for about 30mins work (including the spanking) and that comes to $4,333 dollars a minute. Donald, I would think that being the great deal maker that you are you would recognize that Mueller's team is a heck of a deal for 'ya and money well spent!

  • Kendra Bethune

    welcome to the social media mr lief garret in 2018 when i am 40 kendra bethune mixed heritage black ,white carmel color skin when i watch feel the need in me
    with pictures of u i enjoy with wavy hair

  • DOA Joker

    The FBI spent over $20 million on Clinton's email investigation and Congress spent over $20 million for hearings and the investigation of Benghazi. Trump didn't complain about that.

  • Abuck 47

    10 million is less than we spend on trump's intelligence lessons in a month.

  • IT-Worker-Since-1990

    $10 million is cheap compared to Republican-lead witch hunts of the Clintons. First there was Whitewater that cost about $80m in 1999 dollars or almost $120m in today's dollars. Next, it cost $70m or more for the Republican probes into HRC which bore no fruit. This one is quite a bargain so far with how many guilty pleas already?

  • Prophet With Honor

    By the time you factor in the SS guys in the kitchen watching the cooks and the motorcade he spends that much on McDonald's carry out in a year.

  • nelsonleonard

    Protecting the integrity of our American elections is worth more than 10,000,000 dollars! If we do not have that integrity and the will to protect our elections from outside foreign interference, we have nothing! Trump is again wrong to not see this as important or, maybe, he has no desire to see it that way.

  • d big

    My guess is he got it from Hannity.

  • MS2789

    Nothing new from Trump...…...just more lies in an attempt to seek support from having to eventually answer for his behavior. It will bring froth to the mouths of the base, sooth his sick ego for a day or so, but nothing more.

  • Valen

    A far as I am concerned the Mueller probe is priceless.

  • Sal Monela

    I heard that his meeting today with members of Congress was yet another chance for those in attendance to kiss his ring and tell him how awesome he is, and how much of an honor it is to be in his presence.
    What kind of person does that? It's simply unbelievable. Almost as unbelievable as the people who are groveling at his feet and have lost all self respect.

  • Abuck 47

    trump spends more than 10 million on just hair spray for a year....let alone the 24 hair dressers he needs to get dressed in the morning.

  • Rodney Bayburn

    It costs more than 10 million a MONTH to keep president bone spurs playing golf at mars lago.

  • IT-Worker-Since-1990

    The Whitewater investigation took 4 years before they went after Bill Clinton; it took it 2 years before it charged the McDougals. Whitewater cost about $80 million in 1999 dollars or about $120m in today's dollars. This is a bargain so far, has resulted in more charges of breaking the law and guilty verdicts than Whitewater and yet the Right is trying to say this is a nothing burger? How much did it cost for the Benghazi Investigations? A LOT more than this one has. Did they bear fruit? NOPE! This one has.

  • BigRead

    What's the price tag on democracy?

    Priceless, Mr.President as you wlll find out.

  • jn2222

    trump spends that much monthly on his golf outings.

  • PaulCrozer

    This $10M is necessary. What is NOT necessary is the $20M we spend monthly on this guy's golf trips to Mara Lago, on our dime.

  • Steve1956

    He got it from the same place he gets the rest of the garbage he spews, from his backside.