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Misuse of the US Air Force for Personal Gain

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  • Misuse of the US Air Force for Personal Gain

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...cid=spartandhp

    In early Spring of this year, an Air National Guard crew made a routine trip from the U.S. to Kuwait to deliver supplies.

    What wasn’t routine was where the crew stopped along the way: President Donald Trump’s Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow, Scotland.
    Since April, the House Oversight Committee has been investigating why the crew on the C-17 military transport plane made the unusual stay — both en route to the Middle East and on the way back — at the luxury waterside resort, according to several people familiar with the incident. But they have yet to receive any answers from the Pentagon.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...cid=spartandhp
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/08/polit...rry/index.html

    The crew of a US Air Force C-17 stayed at President Donald Trump's golf resort in Turnberry, Scotland, during a March refueling stop en route to Kuwait, the Air Force acknowledged, again raising ethics questions about government use of the President's private entities.

    The Air Force, which said in a statement it was reviewing the trip records, said the stop was "not unusual." But it's another example of Trump's company earning money from taxpayer dollars, which has led some government watchdogs to argue the arrangement breaches ethical norms and potentially violates a clause of the US Constitution.
    "As our air crews serve on these international airlift missions, they follow strict guidelines on contracting for hotel accommodations and all expenditures of taxpayer dollars," Air Force Brig. Gen. Ed Thomas said in a statement. "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. 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."

    The Air Force said the crew on the March 13 consisted of seven active duty and National Guard crew members, adding that although they stayed at Turnberry en route to Kuwait, "it doesn't appear" they did so on the trip back to the US.

    The Air Force said the Turnberry resort was less expensive than a nearby Marriott and that both were under the per diem rate of $166. The Air Force also said it schedules stopovers based on such factors as leg distance and contract fuel availability.

    Crews use a commercial airport -- Prestwick in Glasgow -- when they stop for refueling in Scotland.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/06/polit...rry/index.html

    The House Oversight Committee has been investigating for several months whether increased military expenditures benefiting the Trump Turnberry golf course and resort in Scotland represent a conflict of interest for the President, according to committee documents.

    But the Defense Department has refused to comply with investigators' requests to date, a senior Democratic committee aide told CNN on Friday.

    The newly revealed investigation, which was first reported on Friday by Politico, represents yet another front at which House Democrats are probing President Donald Trump's finances and businesses, with various Democrat-led panels pushing new or existing probes going into the 2020 election season.

    In a June letter to then-acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and fellow Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin detailed their investigation into the golf course and nearby Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

    They allege that the airport, a key location as the closest airport to Turnberry, has seen an uptick in military spending since Trump won the presidency. Both Turnberry and the airport have operated at significant losses over the past few years.

    "Despite Prestwick Airport's struggling operations, US military expenditures at the airport appear to have increased substantially since the election," the lawmakers wrote.
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/29/polit...oig/index.html

    The State Department spent at least $233,732 on President Donald Trump's July 2018 trip to his Turnberry resort in Scotland, according to a letter from the department's inspector general obtained by CNN.

    The July 22 letter from Inspector General Steve Linick to Democratic Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland details only the costs that were paid by the State Department and not reimbursed. Among the costs were more than $42,000 in overtime, more than $111,000 in hotels, more than $28,000 in rental cars and more than $51,000 in temporary duty costs, according to the letter.

    The OIG review was not able to determine how much the resort gained in profit from the visit. The State Department spent $728 on three rooms for two nights at the Trump-owned property. According to the letter, the department said they were used by the US ambassador to the United Kingdom, his wife and his chief of protocol. The department said that the Trump Turnberry's rate was "the lowest of all the hotels being utilized for this VIP visit" and offered "a fair and reasonable rate to the Government," according to document cited in the letter.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/08/polit...rry/index.html

    The Air Force has ordered a review of all international layover stays following controversial visits by crew members at Donald Trump's Turnberry resort during refueling stops, which have again raised ethics questions about government use of the President's private entities.

    "Air Force leadership directed Air Mobility Command to review all guidance pertaining to selection of airports and lodging accommodations during international travels," the Air Force said in a statement Sunday evening, which was first reported by Politico.

    The House Oversight and Reform Committee earlier this year launched a probe of the stays after aircraft would be directed to land at Prestwick Airport, in Glasgow, Scotland. The crew members would then stay at Turnberry. The Air Force had previously launched a separate inquiry into those stays.

    Over the weekend, it was reported that a US Air Force C-17 crew stayed at the Turnberry resort during a March refueling stop en route to Kuwait, another example of Trump's company earning money from taxpayer dollars, which has led some government watchdogs to argue the arrangements breach ethical norms and potentially violate a clause of the US Constitution.

    "While initial reviews indicate that aircrew transiting through Scotland adhered to all 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 advisable," the Air Force said in its statement Sunday evening. "Even when USAF aircrews follow all directives and guidance, we must still be considerate of perceptions of not being good stewards of taxpayer funds that might be created through the appearance of aircrews staying at such locations."

    After news of the congressional probe became public, the Air Force has said the stopover of a US Air Force C-17 in Glasgow is "not unusual."

    "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," Air Force Brig. Gen. Ed Thomas said in a statement. "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."

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...cid=spartandhp

    President Trump is denying any knowledge of an Air Force crew's decision to stop at his Turnberry resort in Scotland, a subject that has drawn scrutiny from congressional Democrats.

    In a series of tweets, Trump also again denied involvement in the decision by Vice President Mike Pence to stay at his property in Doonbeg, Ireland, during an official visit last week despite his meetings being on the opposite site of the country in Dublin, its capital.

    "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!)," Trump tweeted Monday. "NOTHING TO DO WITH ME."

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...cid=spartandhp

    Why am I not surprised?

    President Donald Trump denied that his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was acting on his orders when Mulvaney reportedly directed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to pressure a federal agency to rebuke scientists who had contradicted Trump's hurricane claims.

    “No, I never did that — I never did that,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday, dismissing the entire scandal as “a hoax by the fake news media.”

    “When they talk about the hurricane and when they talk about Florida and Alabama, that is just fake news,” the president went on. “Right from the beginning, it was a fake story.”

    The so-called fake news emanated first from Trump’s own Twitter account, when on Sept. 1 he warned that Alabama was among the states that “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated,” a claim that was misleading based on the forecasted path of the storm at that time.


  • #2
    Here's what I think. Instead of going to an average, so-so Marriott hotel, the aircrew (for about the same expenditure) got what I'm sure was a much upgraded overnight experience at Turnberry. If you had the choice wouldn't you have gone with the perks that the Trump property offered rather than a bland, gray, everyday, run-of-the-mill chain hotel like the Marriott?
    ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
    IN MARE IN COELO

    Comment


    • #3
      The Air Force uses DTS for travel. DTS goes with the cheapest rate. Trump's hotel was way under the per diem rate. This has been going on since 2015, this is another story that isn't a story.

      The article posted today is from September 7th. The Air Force conducted an investigation and found that everything was correct according to travel regulations. That is why the MSM went radio silence and you wont find newer stories on this.

      Generally speaking, if a hotel wants to make a profit, you charge as much as possible. Trump's hotel was way under the max per diem rate. The title of this thread is incorrect.

      Comment


      • #4
        Did Trump order them to stay at his resort? If not, then their choice based on their per diem was their choice. Many hotels offer a military rate specifically set at or below the government per diem rate to attract those customers. Trump's hotel is likely to have done that too. So?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Nichols View Post
          The Air Force uses DTS for travel. DTS goes with the cheapest rate. Trump's hotel was way under the per diem rate. This has been going on since 2015, this is another story that isn't a story.

          The article posted today is from September 7th. The Air Force conducted an investigation and found that everything was correct according to travel regulations. That is why the MSM went radio silence and you wont find newer stories on this.

          Generally speaking, if a hotel wants to make a profit, you charge as much as possible. Trump's hotel was way under the max per diem rate. The title of this thread is incorrect.
          Who profited from it?...Trump and his 'organization.' And that's the problem.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Massena View Post

            Who profited from it?...Trump and his 'organization.' And that's the problem.
            You don't make a profit by charging under per diem in the hotel business. Trump lost money on this deal that has been going on since 2015. Service members and government people traveling on orders are usually given the per diem rate. Which is lower than the regular rate.

            Charging less than per diem is a loss for the hotel. The people traveling don't make money on it because the get paid what they were charged. If they pick a hotel that is over per diem, they have to pick up the additional cost, not the government.

            The only organization that fiscally made out on this was the government, it only paid what the people were charged. The service members had a chance to stay at a world class resort.

            What can possible be bad about the government being charged less than they established the rate to be?

            What can possibly be bad about servicemembders staying in a world class hotel without having to pay for it?

            From the left's perspective; what can possibly be bad about Trump losing money in his hotel?

            Comment


            • #7
              That may or may not be an accurate assessment.

              However, the appearance of malfeasance and/or a violation of the emoluments clause is disreputable to the office of president of the United States.

              And Trump does that nonsense repeatedly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Nichols View Post

                You don't make a profit by charging under per diem in the hotel business.
                The people defending this administration somehow know what rate the military was charged. They're just assuming the Trump resort lost money on the deal.
                That doesn't even make sense!

                Look deeper people.

                Comment


                • #9
                  They feel safer not to. Orwell would love Trump and his supporters as they fulfill his point(s) in the book 1984.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Massena View Post
                    That may or may not be an accurate assessment.

                    However, the appearance of malfeasance and/or a violation of the emoluments clause is disreputable to the office of president of the United States.
                    Malfeasance? employment clause?

                    They have been staying there since 2015.

                    The government saves money when they stay there.

                    The Trump organization loses money when they stay there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by inevtiab1e View Post
                      The people defending this administration somehow know what rate the military was charged. They're just assuming the Trump resort lost money on the deal.
                      That doesn't even make sense!

                      Look deeper people.
                      The per diem rates are published.

                      The MSM published that they paid under per diem.

                      Use simple math, hotel rates are set around hotel staffing requirements; front desk, sales, house keeping, restaurant, maintenance, and various other jobs needed to run the hotel.

                      Look deeper, the MSM is controlling your thinking.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Massena View Post
                        They feel safer not to. Orwell would love Trump and his supporters as they fulfill his point(s) in the book 1984.
                        It is the people suffering from TDS that fit into Orwell's world of 1984. This story is a perfect example of how the MSM is controlling thought even though the facts show the this isn't a deal for Trump and his business.

                        This started under the Obama administration.....was he intentionally feeding Trump business?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nichols View Post

                          The per diem rates are published.

                          The MSM published that they paid under per diem.

                          Use simple math, hotel rates are set around hotel staffing requirements; front desk, sales, house keeping, restaurant, maintenance, and various other jobs needed to run the hotel.

                          Look deeper, the MSM is controlling your thinking.
                          I understand the rates. What you're missing is the following which has people concerned.

                          -Frequenting a business owned by the president
                          -Claiming no hotels near Glasgow had a price near the per diem rate.

                          Both are equally disturbing and questionable.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by inevtiab1e View Post
                            I understand the rates. What you're missing is the following which has people concerned.

                            -Frequenting a business owned by the president
                            -Claiming no hotels near Glasgow had a price near the per diem rate.

                            Both are equally disturbing and questionable.
                            He wasn't president when they started using his hotel.

                            His hotel was below per diem rate, there were hotels at per diem rate. There was never a claim that there weren't hotels near Glasgow at per diem, no need to make things up. Why are you going after the Air Force service members?

                            The two above facts are not disturbing or questionable. The only people that are still concerned about this after the facts were published are people suffering from TDS.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nichols View Post

                              He wasn't president when they started using his hotel.
                              He is president currently and they used his business. Feel free to show they've used the Trump hotel before he came into office.

                              His hotel was below per diem rate, there were hotels at per diem rate. There was never a claim that there weren't hotels near Glasgow at per diem, no need to make things up. Why are you going after the Air Force service members?
                              The purpose of DTS is to find hotels at or near the per diem rate and priority given to proximity to airport. (No other hotels within 50 miles of airport with a per diem rate?) Hmmm..

                              The two above facts are not disturbing or questionable. The only people that are still concerned about this after the facts were published are people suffering from TDS.
                              The emoluments clause disagrees with you.
                              Common sense disagrees with you.

                              Comment

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