The Air Force sent crews to President Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland up to 40 times since 2015, according to multiple media reports on Thursday, far more than was previously reported.
The tally is the preliminary result of an Air Force review that was started after reports emerged that an Air National Guard crew stayed at the resort in March. The reports led to an avalanche of calls from Democrats investigating the visit and probing if taxpayer funds were being directed to benefit the president.
The latest figure does not indicate how many of the stays occurred since Trump was inaugurated in early 2017.
The Air Force’s overnight stops at Turnberry have risen under the Trump administration after it reportedly reached a deal with Glasgow Prestwick Airport in 2014, according to Politico. The figure does not account for the number of people who stayed at the Trump property during the roughly 40 stays.
The Air Force did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The Air Force has defended the refueling stops at Prestwick as within Pentagon guidelines, and the airport told Politico that it often books the Air Force crews’ lodging at Turnberry. However, the Air Force launched an internal probe into the stays at Trump’s resort after acknowledging the visits could produce a negative perception.
The reports come as Vice President Pence is dealing with ongoing criticism over his stay at a Trump property in Doonbeg, Ireland, earlier this month, roughly 180 miles from Dublin, where he was participating in a series of meetings.
Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, initially said that Trump made a “suggestion” to Pence to stay at Doonbeg, but later reversed course and clarified the president played no role in the decision.
Democrats have seized on such stays, suggesting they could violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution that prohibits the president from personally profiting off the White House.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee opened up an investigation earlier this year about Air Force expenditures at and around Turnberry and has floated the possibility of sending subpoenas to the Air Force for further information.
Trump has maintained he had no knowledge of the Air Force’s stays at the 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!). NOTHING TO DO WITH ME
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2019