Last night the United States Air Force announced a broad investigation into its stays at Donald Trump’s properties, just as Politico was exposing that the stays were far more systematic than previously known. It’s clear that the Air Force is trying to cover its own backside, and if Trump gets thrown under the bus, then so be it. This is all Mike Pence’s fault. No, really.
It’s becoming clear that Donald Trump has been directing the U.S. military to dump taxpayer money into his properties for a couple years now. It fits with Trump’s usual pattern of repeatedly embezzling bits of taxpayer money over and over and over again, to the point that it adds up to real money, while hoping it goes unnoticed because it’s a series of small transactions. This is going to be a huge scandal for Trump, because stealing money from the military is something that even his complicit Republican Party leaders will have a difficult time successfully spinning.
Trump managed to run this con for a couple years, and keep the whole thing under wraps, until Mike Pence stupidly decided to make a high profile stay at one of Trump’s resorts. This pointed the media in the right direction, and it’s since taken just a few days to expose the Air Force stays at Trump’s resorts, the Air Force fuel purchases at a Trump-related airport, and so on. This con game wouldn’t be a scandal, and Trump would still be raking in money from this con, if Pence hadn’t blown it.
That brings us to one essential question: what did Mike Pence know about this con game? His stay at a Trump resort came amid reports that Trump and Pence have been feuding behind the scenes over Pence’s future political ambitions. So did Pence naively dump taxpayer money into Trump’s resort because he was trying to make peace with Trump, without realizing he was screwing up Trump’s larger con game? Or did Pence do this on purpose, because he wanted this to become a scandal for Trump?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report