Air Force crews have stayed overnight at President Donald Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland on at least four occasions, two more than previously reported.
The four trips — uncovered through interviews with people present, records of expenditures and social media postings — date back to at least September 2018 and continued through at least this past June. They include at least one instance in which a crew member said a nearby airport arranged for rides and lunches to and from the luxury waterside retreat. All the flights were shuttling crews between the United States and the Middle East, and at least three of them of them were divisions of the Air National Guard. In total, over 60 service members stayed at the posh property on these stopovers.
Now, with Congress returning from an extended August break, Democrats want to make sure these Air Force crews never again stay at a Trump Turnberry. On Monday, lawmakers began stumping for the Senate to adopt an amendment that would bar the Pentagon from spending money at nearly five dozen Trump properties worldwide. The House passed the clause in July as part of the broader annual defense policy bill, but it has not yet been adopted into law.
“As alarming details emerge about U.S. Air Force crews staying at the President’s luxury golf resort in Scotland, it has become even more important that Congress include this language in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), one of the sponsors of the proposal.
The push to outlaw the practice will join a growing list of conflict-of-interest concerns that Democrats want to highlight in the coming months as House leaders decide whether to begin formal impeachment proceedings against the president. The overnight stops at Turnberry have already sparked a broader House Oversight Committee investigation of military spending at and around Trump properties. The Air Force over the weekend also launched a worldwide review of how it chooses lodging on overnight layovers. A legislative battle could be next.