Media Alleges Ethics Violations in Air Force Layover at Trump Resort

Elias Hubbard
September 11, 2019

Cummings is also concerned about Scotland's Prestwick Airport, looking into purchase orders for fuel totaling $11 million and reports that the airport offered cut-rate rooms for select passengers and crew, as well as free rounds of golf at Turnberry to visiting USA military and civilian air crews.

Mr Rumbles said: "The Scottish Government should come clean as to how much money they are receiving from the USA military and what deals with Donald Trump's business empire have been struck on the side".

The House oversight committee has been investigating whether increasing expenditure at the airport and allegations of USA military personnel being offered discount deals at Trump's Ayrshire golf resort represent a violation of the U.S. constitution. Trump denies having any knowledge of a military stay in the Scottish resort, tweeting that he "knew nothing" about official use of an airport near his course.

VP Mike Pence's Doonbeg stay caused a stir as Trump's conflicts of interest are questioned by the House oversight committee.

Gen. Ed Thomas, the branch's chief spokesman, said in a statement that leadership had instructed the service's Air Mobility Command to "review all guidance pertaining to selection of airports and lodging accommodations during global travels".

But Farnham said in his experience, service members traveling overseas are typically only concerned with finding a hotel that offers "government rates" - a rate negotiated by the USA government that will be reimbursed - and don't pay much attention to which hotel it is.

Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper demanding immediate compliance with the request they sent in June seeking documents relating to taxpayer funds spent at President Trump's Turnberry golf resort in Scotland in apparent violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. At least, once one gets past the fact that the President of the United States owns hundreds of public-facing properties around the world, has refused to follow the convention of divesting himself of them, and thus raises huge questions of propriety whenever he, any government employee, or person having business with the USA government stays there.

The debt-ridden airport 34 miles (55km) from Glasgow has been fighting off closure.

Trump said Pence's family "lives in Doonbeg, Ireland". Under that arrangement, the Scottish airport not only refuels USA military planes but also helps arrange hotel accommodations for arriving crews, as it does for some civilian and commercial aircraft.

It also alleges that certain military personnel have been offered "cut-price rooms" and free rounds of golf at the Trump Turnberry resort.

"It's important to note that we do not pay for aircrew accommodation and take no commission from Trump Turnberry for any bookings made on behalf of our customers".

Thomas also claimed that the increased use of Prestwick Airport, in Glasgow, Scotland, is "ideally suited along the route of flight to/from Europe and the Middle East" because of its large parking area, round-the-clock operations and "favorable weather" compared with nearby airports.

When the partnership between Prestwick Airport and the Trump Organization was announced, a press release explained that people visiting Turnberry, which is 20 miles from the airport, would be provided transfers via "the luxurious Trump helicopter, executive cars or private hire".

Scottish ministers bought the Ayrshire airport for £1 in 2013, stepping in to prevent it from closing.

Amid rising debts, the airport has reportedly slashed its charges to try to retain business.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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