The Air Force says its crew stayed at Trump's luxury resort because it was the 'closest available and least expensive' option
Associated Press/Peter Morrison
- The US Air Force said in a statement Saturday that its crews did stay at President Donald Trump's luxury golf resort in Scotland, but that it was "the closest available and least expensive" option.
- Politico first reported Friday that a five-person crew for a C-17 military transport plane en route to Kuwait used the resort while stopping in Scotland to refuel.
- The House Oversight Committee has been investigating the incident since April.
- A Trump Organization representative told The New York Times that military personnel have occasionally stayed at Trump Turnberry, but only a few times a year.
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The US Air Force confirmed on Saturday that its personnel stayed at the Trump Turnberry luxury golf resort in Scotland in March, but denied that doing so was improper or against the rules.
Politico first reported Friday that a crew for a C-17 military transport plane en route to Kuwait used the resort while stopping at a Scotland airport to refuel.
An Air Force spokesman told The New York Times in a statement Saturday that it's common for military flights to stop in Scotland. He added that on the night in question, there were no better options.
For instance, the Trump property had a per diem rate of $136, compared to the nearby Marriott's $161. He added that the maximum spending amount permitted was $166, and that the crew used the Marriott property on the return leg of the trip.
"As our aircrews serve on these international airlift missions, they follow strict guidelines on contracting for hotel accommodations and all expenditures of taxpayer dollars," Brig Gen Edward Thomas wrote. "In this case, they made reservations through the Defense Travel System and used the closest available and least expensive accommodations to the airfield within the crews' allowable hotel rates."
Thomas added that Trump Turnberry was 54 miles away from the airport at which the plane was being refueled, but said "that is not a remarkable distance to travel to receive government rate lodging."
A Trump Organization representative told The Times that military personnel have occasionally stayed at Trump Turnberry, but only a few times a year. The representative added that the resort charged the government a discounted rate of roughly $100 per night.
The House Oversight Committee has been investigating the incident since April, Politico reported.