The good news is that the Air Force has now ordered an internal review of the decision to put up a military flight crew at Trump’s posh-but-dodgy Turnberry resort in Scotland. Air Force leadership—and nobody is too eager to be seen as the point person on this, for obvious reasons—appears to recognize that the public “perception” of air crews being driven 20 miles from the airport to give business to a for-profit business entity owned by their commander is sketchy, at the least.
We would not have this problem if Trump were not blazingly crooked and had divested from these properties as he was supposed to, but he didn’t, because he is too rich for our petty ethics, and so here we are.
The bad news is that the Air Force spent the weekend vigorously defending the decision to lodge a C-17 transport’s crew at Trump’s golf resort. An Air Force statement said that the booking agent they worked with to find such lodging “indicated” that there were no rooms available anywhere nearer, so the Trump Turnberry it was. The Air Force also claims that the near-tripling of its stopovers at the Prestwick airport since Trump’s election was part of a plan to consolidate the locations it uses for such tasks; Trump’s own attempts to boost the airport were allegedly coincidental.
Trump himself, of course, took to his tweet-stream to claim he knows “nothing” about the controversy, which is an absolutely meaningless statement Trump has over-worn in response to every other scandal, far past the point where it is obvious he knew a lot more than “nothing.”
What we are likely to get out of this internal review, one imagines, is a report that the Air Force’s local, non-military booking agent did not understand that the Air Force writing checks to their own commander in chief was a blazingly inappropriate conflict of interest, and going forward everyone has been made to understand that the resort should be left off the list of Air Force lodging possibilities. That weak response will still, however, be vastly more than sycophantic Vice President Mike Pence could dream of. Unlike Republicans, though, the Air Force is still expected to have standards.