Members of the Air Force have been overnighting at a Trump golf resort in Scotland after refueling stops at a nearby airport. Politico has found at least two incidents where, after long flights, crews landed at Prestwick Airport in Scotland and then checked in at Trump’s Turnberry hotel. Now, the Air Force has launched an investigation.
“POLITICO on Friday first reported that the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee launched a probe of the Scotland operations in April out of concern that the use by the military of the Trump property and the nearby airport could pose a conflict of interest for the president — and to determine whether the Pentagon is helping to boost the fortunes of the struggling Trump’s Scottish golf resort.“
From reporter Natasha Bertrand of Politico: “The frequency of the stops and overnight stays by the Air Force at Prestwick has increased steadily, from 95 stops and 40 overnights in 2015 to 259 stops and 220 overnights through August 2019. The Air Force couldn’t say how many of those 220 overnights were spent at Turnberry.“
In March of this year, the crew of an Air Force cargo plane en route to Kuwait landed at Prestwick and rather than stay at an airport hotel, the crew booked into Trump Turnberry. Politico writes: At least one member of the crew was frustrated that the food and drink was over his government allowance, even though the Air Force has said the nightly rate was less expensive than other potential options closer to the airport.
An initial review by the Air Force found that transiting through Scotland “adhered to all guidance and procedures,” but and Air Force spokesman told Politico, “Even when USAF aircrews follow all directives and guidance, we must still be considerate of perceptions of not being good stewards of taxpayer funds that might be created through the appearance of aircrew staying at such locations.”