Air Force reviews hotel choices after Trump resort stay

Air Force reviews hotel choices after Trump resort stay

The Air Force announced a review following an uproar over the revelation that the crew of a C-17 transport plane stayed at the Trump Turnberry in Scotland during a layover between Kuwait and Alaska.

The Air Force said initial reviews show the air crews followed all "guidance and procedures" while staying at Turnberry after landing at Prestwick Airport in Glasgow.

In a sternly-worded letter authored by staff for Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and addressed to Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, the House Oversight Committee is reiterating "a request originally made several months ago" regarding the housing of military servicemembers at the golf course and hotel owned by President Donald Trump-as well as the use of public funds "at a nearby commercial airport owned by the Scottish government".

"I had nothing to do with the decision of our great @VP Mike Pence to stay overnight at one of the Trump owned resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland", he added in a follow-up post.

Brig Gen Thomas also explained the increased use of Prestwick airport in the last four years because of a number of key factors, including longer operating hours and standardisation of routing locations.

Last week, Mike Pence's Chief of Staff Marc Short said that Donald Trump had suggested staying at the hotel but the United States president said this was not the case.

The deal with the US Defence Logistics Agency (DLA), which manages the global supply chain for the US Army, Air Force, and Navy, is by far the airport's single biggest revenue stream.

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President Trump responded to the news reports with a tweet asserting that he has "nothing to do with" with the Prestwick airport.

"President Trump and his company have had significant, direct, and detailed interactions with Prestwick Airport for years, including the President proclaiming that he was "thrilled to be partnering" with the airport, the President personally trying to boost passenger traffic at the airport, and the Trump Organization negotiating room rates directly with the airport", Cummings and Raskin wrote. The news outlet also reported that a unit of the Maine Air National Guard stayed at Trump Turnberry in September 2018 while on the way back to the USA from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. "It does not benefit from commission or in any other way from booking Turnberry and customers settle their own accounts directly with the hotel".

After Trump began his presidential campaign the following year, the Pentagon increased its use of Prestwick and gave local airport officials the authority to help "find accommodations for flight crews who had to remain overnight".

"Between 2015 and 2019, AMC Total Force aircraft stopped at Prestwick a total of 936 times (*659 overnight stays), including 95 (*40) in 2015, 145 (*75) in 2016, 180 (*116) in 2017, 257 (*208) in 2018 and 259 (*220) through August 2019", his statement added.

Trump linked the questions to those about Vice President Mike Pence's recent stay in Ireland at another Trump family-owned resort as he visited his family's ancestral home. "People are traveling, it's just like any other hotel", McCarthy said at a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday morning.

Air Force officials do not know how many of those overnight stays occurred at the Turnberry property.

He told reporters on Monday that the Air Force's review was "due diligence to see if our processes are appropriate, if they're right".

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