Air Force launches worldwide probe into increase in refueling stops at airport near Trump's Scotland resort
The U.S. Air Force is ordering a worldwide probe after outrage over a huge increase in refueling stops at an airport near a Trump property and an overnight stay at a Trump luxury resort by military personnel.
The public has been focused recently on news an Air Force jet was directed to refuel at Prestwick, a small commercial airport in Scotland, with crews ordered to stay at Trump’s Turnberry resort (photo). Now Politico reports this odd instance was not the first.
“In September 2018, on its way back to the U.S. from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, a unit of the Maine Air National Guard landed at Prestwick Airport, the airport closest to Trump’s luxury waterfront resort. The crew and their passengers then spent the night at his hotel, according to one person who was present, an Instagram post and a voucher detailing the crew’s itinerary reviewed by POLITICO.”
Politico and The New York Times reveal a huge escalation in the use of that small airport.
“Stopovers at Scotland airport have tripled since 2015 and overnight stays in the area are up five-fold,” Politico notes.
“The Defense Department has been using the Prestwick airport since at least 2015, when it had 95 stopovers, but that number rose to 145 by 2016, and then 180 in 2017, 257 as of last year and 259 so far this year. The 259 stops this year included 220 overnight stays,” The Times adds. “Since October 2017, records show 917 purchases at the airport worth a total of $17.2 million.”
The Air Force says it will look at the guidelines in its investigation with the understanding “that U.S. service members lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not advisable.”
The Air Force investigation comes fiver months after another startling revelation. Liberty University, run by key evangelical Trump supporter Jerry Falwell, Jr., has sold more than $1 million in jet fuel to the Pentagon since Trump’s inauguration.