Military has spent more than $184K at Trump Scotland resort since 2017
Published 11:12 PM EDT Sep 18, 2019
WASHINGTON– New figures and documents revealed Wednesday show that the U.S. military has spent more than $184,000 at President Donald Trump’s Turnberry property in Scotland since August 2017.
The figure comes from a letter sent from by the Pentagon to congressional investigators after the House Oversight and Reform Committee asked about an increase in Air Force flights stopping to refuel at Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings and Rep. Jamie Raskin wrote back to Defense Secretary Mark Esper Wednesday, asking for more information on the spending at the Turnberry resort after the letter from the Pentagon.
The documents show money paid for “more than three dozen separate stays involving hundreds of nights of rooms-all after the President was sworn into office,” the two Democrats wrote Wednesday.
According to the letter, the Department did reveal that the average cost of a room for service members between August 2017 and July 2019 was $189 a night and that expenditures during that time frame “amounted to $124,578.96” not including an “additional $59,729.12 in unspecified charges to government travel cards.”
“If both of these claims are accurate, it appears that U.S. taxpayer funds were used to purchase the equivalent of more than 650 rooms at the Trump Turnberry just since August 2017 — or the equivalent of one room every night for more than one-and-a-half years,” the congressmen wrote.
Their letter added, “The department failed to produce any underlying invoices or travel records relating to spending at Trump Turnberry or Prestwick Airport. It is unclear why the department has taken so long to produce such rudimentary and deficient information.”
In a tweet earlier this month, the president said he knows “nothing” about the refueling flights at Prestwick and the stays by U.S. military flight crews at his Turnberry resort in Scotland.
The revelation comes following criticism the Trump administration received when Vice President Pence recently stayed at a Trump resort in Ireland during an official visit to the country, and after Politico first reported that earlier this month, there had been probing into military spending at Turnberry to determine whether the money spent was a violation of the Constitution’s domestic emoluments clause.
Nearly three dozen senators co-sponsored a bill this week that would ban the federal government from spending taxpayer dollars at properties owned by the president, vice president or members of the Cabinet.
Sen. Gary Peters, who introduced the bill, said in a statement Monday, “Since President Trump took office, the American people have witnessed an unprecedented arrangement that has funneled taxpayer dollars into the president’s pockets. As elected officials, we must hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and ensure that we are using taxpayer dollars responsibly.”