Air Force reviews hotel choices after Trump resort stay
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force is reviewing how crews on international travel choose airports and hotels after one crew recently spent a night at a Trump resort in Scotland.
An Air Force spokesman said Monday that an initial review of the March stopover in Scotland in which the crew stayed at the Trump Turnberry golf resort adhered to all official guidance and procedures.
“We understand that U.S. service members lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not always advisable,” said the spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ed Thomas.
Some in Congress have questioned whether military members’ use of hotels owned by President Donald Trump amounts to a conflict of interest for the president.
The Air Force said aircraft, particularly C-17 cargo planes, have increasingly used nearby Prestwick Airport as a refueling stop in recent years. From 95 stopovers in 2015, including 40 overnight stays, the number jumped to 257 last year, including 208 overnight stays.
Through August this year, there were 259 Air Force aircraft stopovers at Prestwick, including 220 overnight stays, according to the Air Force. It said Prestwick is considered a leading choice for reasons such as favorable weather and less aircraft parking congestion. Fuel at Prestwick is purchased at a U.S. government-negotiated rate.
The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said he did not know whether the increased use of Prestwick has also led to an increase in use of the Trump Turnberry hotel.
Congress is investigating stays at Trump properties by government employees, including Air Force personnel.
President Donald Trump said on Twitter Monday that he knew nothing about the crew’s stay at Turnberry.