The Air Force has ordered a review of its overnight accommodations and location selection process after it was revealed that aircrews sometimes stayed at President Donald Trump’s Scotland resort while refueling.
It was reported on Friday that in early September a C-17 crew stayed overnight at the resort. Politico and other outlets have uncovered additional instances of military personnel staying at Trump properties, indicating that the Turnberry resort incident was not an isolated one.
In a similar instance from September 2018, a unit of the Maine Air National Guard coming back from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, stayed the night at a Trump luxury waterfront resort, the crew’s itinerary shows.
The Air Force refused to comment on that incident, although chief spokesman Brigadier General Ed Thomas said in a statement to Politico that “initial reviews indicate that aircrew transiting through Scotland adhered to all guidance and procedures.”
American service members “lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not advisable. Therefore, we are reviewing all associated guidance,” he said.
Deputy Commander of the Air Mobility Command, which oversees all Air Force transportation worldwide, said in another interview that the review aimed to ensure that personnel follow all the rules and determine whether staying at the commander-in-chief’s property is appropriate.
“What the chief is getting at is just because you can, we should also be asking ourselves the question about should. And the question there is, as our crews are following all guidance and directives we also have to be sensitive to the possible perceptions that might be created on where they may stay,” said Lieutenant General Jon Thomas.
The House government oversight and reform committee opened an investigation into the Scotland operations in April over concerns that the use by the military of the Trump property and the nearby airport could pose a conflict of interest for the President. Accusations that Trump is profiting off his administration’s and foreign officials’ stay at his properties worldwide have been following the President since he took office over two years ago.