When the Turnberry scandal began, it was over the crew of a single U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane being routed out of its way to spend the night at Donald Trump’s Scottish golf resort. However, the $10 million fuel bill at nearby Prestwick Airport suggested that the count of visiting military jets was much higher. By Wednesday, it was clear that at least four air crews had visited Trump’s failing resort, as the Air Force reported that it would have to dig through individual trip vouchers to find out if there were more. It found more.
As Politico reports, that shuffling through the paperwork has so far produced no fewer than 40 instances of air crews staying at Turnberry since 2015. The Air Force hasn’t said how many of those stays happened since Trump’s election. It’s also not clear how many people were involved in each of these stays. Previous reports showed the number of crew members put up in a single visit ranging from five to 40. So these visits represent hundreds of rooms at Trump’s resort—maybe over a thousand.
Which means that those military rooms aren’t just a drop in the bucket for Trump. They’re a significant part of the million-dollar turnaround at his resort over the last year. At least one of these stays happened this summer.
Trump’s resort is over half an hour away from Prestwick, and getting there means driving past many lower-cost hotels. But Trump signed an agreement with the airport that puts the resort at the top of a list of locations where air crews are sent for the evening. That agreement came just a year after the Air Force signed a deal with the Glasgow-area airport as a potential refueling site.
The House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into why the military has been taking Trump up on so many free rounds of golf at Turnberry, even as Trump is cutting into the military budget to take away funds for building his border fence. Democratic senators have been pushing the Senate to take up this investigation, along with passing a bill that would prevent the Pentagon from spending money at a number of Trump properties.
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