The US Air Force is backing an aircrew that stayed in a Trump-branded hotel in Scotland, claiming that they followed procedure and did nothing wrong.
The C-17 Globemaster III crew made a scheduled stop at Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport in March and when they booked their stay at Trump’s Turnberry resort, hoping to get a little R&R during their stopover.
“The stopover of a U.S. Air Force C-17 in Glasgow, Scotland, is not unusual,” Brig Gen. Ed Thomas told Military.com in an email. “Every two-and-a-half minutes an Air Force transport aircraft takes off or lands somewhere around the globe. 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.”
The US Air Force noted that while they are reviewing logbooks and ledgers, there is nothing in its policy against staying at a Trump-branded resort.
“While we are still reviewing the trip records, we have found nothing that falls outside the guidelines associated with selecting stopover airports on travel routes and hotel accommodations for crew rest,” Thomas added.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating the stopovers in Prestwick, as part of a larger probe into whether or not bypassing the airport could save money, in addition to trying to find out how much money the Trump family is making from military personnel who want to book stays at Turnberry.
“The Trump property -at $136 a night- was less expensive than the Marriott property -$161 a night- and both were under the per diem rate of $166,” Thomas said.
While the crew stayed at Turnberry for one leg of their flight, a Marriot was used on the return.
Air Force personnel note that Prestwick is a common stopover for US aircraft, as it is much easier to get landing clearance in Scotland and England than it is in Ireland.
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