WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said he didn’t know about the overnight stay of a U.S. Air Force crew at his Scotland golf resort amid new scrutiny of government spending at properties owned by the president.
“I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own) in Scotland, and filling up with fuel, with the crew staying overnight at Turnberry (they have good taste!). NOTHING TO DO WITH ME,” Trump tweeted Monday.
The U.S. Air Force told Politico on Sunday it was conducting a review of airport selection and lodging accommodations. The House Government Oversight and Reform Committee earlier said it began a probe into the decision by a C-17 crew to refuel at a small commercial airport near Trump’s Turnberry resort and stay overnight at the Scotland property.
"Documents obtained from Scottish government agencies show that the Trump Organization, and Mr. Trump himself, played a direct role in setting up an arrangement between the Turnberry resort and officials at Glasgow Prestwick Airport." https://t.co/6ElMIK5Y4h
— Robert Costa (@costareports) September 10, 2019
“Even when USAF aircrews follow all directives and guidance, we must still be considerate of perceptions of not being good stewards of taxpayer funds that might be created through the appearance of aircrew staying at such locations,” the Air Force said in a statement.
The House Oversight Committee said in a letter to the Defense Department that missions using Prestwick Airport — the site closest to the president’s golf club — “raise questions about the president’s potential receipt of U.S. or foreign government emoluments.”
Vice President Mike Pence came under fire last week for staying at Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland, despite most of his meetings with Irish leaders taking place more than 125 miles away in Dublin.
The vice president, who traveled with his mother and sister, defended the decision, saying he has familial ties to the town adjacent to the Trump International course. Pence said his schedule was also hastily rearranged after Trump asked the vice president to travel to Poland in his stead, and that there was no other hotel that could accommodate the vice president and his staff nearby.
Trump said he also played no role in that decision on Monday, despite Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, saying the president had suggested staying at the property.