Follow the money

Most people don’t believe that Donald Trump is really a billionaire, and is instead deeply in debt. At the rate things are going, he’ll be less in debt by the end of his term, courtesy of the American taxpayers. Every day, it seems that an unusual stay occurs at one of Trump’s properties. From Pence staying 181 miles away from his meeting in Ireland, to William Barr hosting a holiday party at Trump International Hotel, Donald Trump is using his office to save his failing properties. Now, we find out that the Air Force is helping to line Trump’s pockets.

Politico has confirmed that crew members recently stayed at Turnberry. The Air Force claims that out of more than two dozen hotels in and around Prestwick Airport, Turnberry was the cheapest option. Sure it was. Politico was unable to confirm the room rates by press time, but one crew member texted someone that their per diem was not even enough to cover food and drinks. Let’s say for the sake of argument that Trump gave them a special rate for their stay that was less expensive than the other two dozen hotels (not that we should believe that), they still couldn’t afford to eat. In addition, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at Prestwick Airport, which is closest to Turnberry, since October 2017 when they could have spent much less at a base. As Politico points out, had they stopped in the UK instead, they could have taken advantage of much cheaper fuel prices at nearby Lakenheath Air Base. Further, Turnberry is quite a distance from Prestwick, indicating that even more funds were expended for transportation to a hotel that is obviously out of the way.

Interestingly, Turnberry lost $4.5 million in 2017, but turned things around in 2018. Sounds fishy, doesn’t it? Congress smells it too and has begun an investigation into all of the out-of-the-way stays at Trump’s properties, including Mike Pence’s visit to Doonbeg. The House Oversight Committee has been quietly investigating these expenditures since April, but that investigation is now out in the open, as it should be. Americans are entitled to know how our money is being spent, especially when that money is enriching the president of the United States, which is illegal under the Emoluments Clause.

It is quite interesting that most if not all of Trump’s properties were failing prior to him taking office, but suddenly, certain ones are in the black. If anyone needs a reason why Trump went after the presidency, this is a clear indicator of the origins of that desire. It is despicable, but what’s more despicable is how Congress is having to fight to get even one piece of paper out of the Pentagon. A senior Democratic aide on the Oversight Committee shared with Politico that “The committee will be forced to consider alternative steps.” While this, and other instances of irregularity do need to be investigated, that’s more tax dollars being spent on things that don’t benefit the taxpayers. This is ludicrous.

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