The Air Force has admitted that it has lodged crew members at a Scotland resort owned by Donald Trump at least 40 times since 2015. A figure that is much higher than previous claims.
The new number comes from preliminary results of a review launched by the Air Force after a story broke by the media outlet Politico. The media outlet reported last week that members of the Air National guard stayed at Trump’s Turnberry resort back in March.
Democrats are also currently investigating the military’s stays at Trump-owned businesses. Despite requests, the Pentagon has refused to hand over any information to the Congressional Democrats.
The latest figure from the Air Force does not indicate how many of the stays have occurred since Trump became president. The Air Force has ramped up its overnight stops in Scotland under Trump after it signed a contract with the government-owned Prestwick Airport, which is located just 20 miles from Trump’s Turnberry resort.
The Air Force’s figure also does not account for the total number of people the Air Force has lodged at Turnberry during those 40 stays. Politico reported that crews ranging from five to 40 stayed at Trump’s Scotland resort since 2018.
The Air Force states that the refueling stops at Prestwick as well as all related overnight stays are within Pentagon guidelines. Prestwick reportedly often books the Air Force crews’ lodging at Turnberry, the airport acknowledged in a statement. A spokesperson for the airport also stated that it often arranges for their transportation to and from the resort.
Military officials state that the Turnberry bookings fall within acceptable rates for military travel, as military members are charged a government rate as low as $130 per night. However, the Air Force does concede that the appearance of staying at a Trump-owned resort has created a negative perception and due to that it has opened an internal review that will access the “guidance associated with the use of civil airports and lodging selection for aircrew at en route locations,” according to a memo issued Monday.
Reportedly, since 2015, the Air Force made 95 stops at the Prestwick airport, lodging in the area 40 times. But through August of this year, the Air Force made 259 stops at Prestwick, staying overnight nearby 220 times.
The House Oversight Committee has been investigating U.S. military expenditures at and around Turnberry since May. The committee has threatened to subpoena officials in an attempt to gather information from the Pentagon.
Military stays at the Turnberry took place as recently as June of this year. In June a bus carrying an aircrew en route to Iraq arrived at Trump’s Turnberry resort. The stay was discovered after a crew member posted about the stay on Instagram.
Trump, of course, has adamantly denied any knowledge of military stays at his resort.
“I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own) in Scotland, and filling up with fuel, with the crew staying overnight at Turnberry (they have good taste!),” he tweeted on Monday. “NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.”