US military accused of boosting Trump's business by making service members stay at president's expensive Scotland resort
The forces have reportedly fuelled planes near Trump's Turnberry resort while crew members on a mission have spent time at the luxury venue.
Days after the Pentagon’s announcement that it will divert a mammoth $3.6 billion in military construction funds to help build President Donald Trump’s controversial border wall with Mexico left the lawmakers livid, a new controversy has connected Trump with the American forces.
The House Oversight Committee (HOC) is currently probing military expenditure at an airport near a property belonging to the president in Ayer, Scotland, as well as visit by service personnel to that property. The issue has led to a growing number of queries over government spending that has financially helped Trump’s businesses.
According to a report in Politico, the military has spent $11 million on fuel only at the Prestwick Airport near the president’s Turnberry resort since 2017 fall. Besides, the Guardian has reported that the airport also provided rooms with discounts and complimentary rounds of golf at the Trump resort for some members of the armed forces. The fuel-buying bill raised quite a few eyebrows since it cost the government more than refueling at military bases, like at the Lakenheath Air Base in England which is not too far.
The costs involved with staying at Trump resorts were not beyond suspicion. The Politico report further revealed experiences of five Air National Guard personnel who stayed at the resort earlier this year while on a mission to Kuwait. One of the members even told a close one that the crew’s per diem allowance failed to cover the food and drinks at the expensive resort.
The event soon came drew the attention of the HOC and, in June, it asked the Pentagon for an explanation. The defense department, however, refused to provide any document(s) to the investigators.
Mike Pence under fire for stay at president's property
Even Vice President Mike Pence, during his recent visit to Ireland, stayed at one of Trump’s properties citing safety despite the accommodation being 180 miles away from the venue of his meetings. The president was accused of using his position for business profits.
Meanwhile, army officials contested the report claiming a joint Air Force and Alaska Air National Guard unit on a mission to Kuwait took a detour only to spend a night at Trump’s lavish property, reported the Associated Press.
An Air Force spokesperson on Saturday, September 7, told AP in an email that military planes taking a pause in Scotland is not unusual. “As our aircrews serve on these international airlift missions, they follow strict guidelines on contracting for hotel accommodations and all expenditures of taxpayer dollars. 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," Brig Gen Edward Thomas reportedly wrote.