Sep 9, 2019

Trump says he knew "nothing" about Air Force crews staying at Scotland resort

A bagpipe player stands next to Donald Trump at the Trump Turnberry Resort in June 2016. Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

President Trump said in a Monday tweet that he knew "nothing" about Air Force crews lodging at his Scotland resort while refueling at an airport in the area.

Why it matters: Trump's tweet comes less than a week after House Democrats opened an inquiry on the use of tax dollars at Trump properties and as the House Judiciary Committee plans to vote this week to formalize an impeachment inquiry.

What he's saying:

"I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own) in Scotland, and filling up with fuel, with the crew staying overnight at Turnberry (they have good taste!). NOTHING TO DO WITH ME"

Context: Politico reported on Friday that the crew on a C-17 military transport plane stayed overnight at Trump’s Turnberry resort in March, prompting a House Oversight Committee investigation that began in April.

  • On Sunday, the Air Force said that it is reviewing how it selects international overnight accommodation locations.
  • An Air Force official previously defended lodging the crew at Turnberry because it offered the closest rooms available and that the rooms were discounted below an internal spending limit, according to the New York Times.

Go deeper: Trump made at least $434 million from his business in 2018

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect the fact that the overnight stay at Turnberry that is being investigated occurred in March (not September 2018).

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Pentagon spent at least $184,000 on Trump Turnberry Resort stopovers

Trump speaking at Trump Turnberry, 2016. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

According to a letter from the House Oversight Committee, the Department of Defense spent at least $184,000 on stopovers at President Trump's Turnberry golf resort in Scotland.

What they're saying: "Although initial press accounts reported only a single instance of a military crew staying at Trump Turnberry this spring, the data provided by the Department now indicates that U.S. taxpayer funds have been used to pay for more than three dozen separate stays involving hundreds of nights of rooms—all after the President was sworn into office," the letter says, suggesting the spending was an apparent violation of the domestic emoluments clause of the Constitution.

Go deeperArrowSep 18, 2019

Air Force orders stopover review after Scotland Trump resort bookings

Air Force One takes off from Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire, Scotland, as President Trump and First Lady Melania leave Britain in July. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images

The U.S. Air Force is reviewing how it selects overnight accommodation locations after reports that air crews had occasionally stayed at President Trump's Scotland resort while refueling, it said in a statement to Politico Sunday night.

Why it matters: The review comes as the Trump administration faces growing criticism for government officials spending taxpayer dollars at Trump properties. Vice President Pence came under fire last week for staying at the Trump International Golf Club in Doonbeg during his 2-day trip to Ireland — even though his meeting with officials was 180 miles away in Dublin.

Go deeperArrowSep 9, 2019

House Democrats to define scope, authority of Trump impeachment probe

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee will vote on Thursday on a resolution that outlines the panel’s authority and scope in an expanding impeachment probe into President Trump, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Though House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has previously said the committee is engaged in "formal impeachment proceedings," the resolution marks the committee's first official acknowledgement that it is considering articles of impeachment. Up until now, the committee had been claiming in court filings that it requires certain materials for the purposes of impeachment, but had not defined the investigation in Congress.

Go deeperArrowSep 9, 2019