President Donald Trump is under the watchful eye of investigators examining whether he is breaching the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause by spending nearly all of his weekends at his own properties, pitching his Miami property as a G7 location and possibly even demanding government planes refuel and stay at his resorts.
According to Politico, Trump is now being investigated after the U.S. military made a long pit-stop at Trump’s Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow, Scotland.
“According to a letter [the House Reform and Oversight Committee] sent to the Pentagon in June, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport — the closest airport to Trump Turnberry — since October 2017, fuel that would be cheaper if purchased at a U.S. military base,” Politico reported.
Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand said on MSNBC Sunday that the Pentagon said that it wasn’t unusual, but it took them 22 hours to come up with the statement about it not being unusual. If it was the normal business of the military, it would have happened before Trump’s presidency. It hasn’t.
One Air Force crew member stationed where the crew originated in Alaska told Politico that the stop was very unusual.
Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold is one of the main reporters following the finances of the president, but what Bertrand did with her discovery was a difficult more-prolonged effort because garnering information internationally is more difficult. Still, she was able to uncover this incident and reporters are searching for more.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of examples of the federal government spending money at President Trump’s properties,” began Fahrenthold. “And the ones that we’ve been able to document usually have come from travels by President Trump himself or via Vice President [Mike] Pence. Those are the ones we’ve been primarily interested in. What is President Trump doing to drive business to his own pocket — federal government money to his own pocket? What Natasha has found is another element that I think is really interesting but harder to find, because you don’t know where to look. You don’t know what dates to look for. And the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that we put in to get federal spending at Trump properties come back so slowly that generally, we don’t understand what’s happened until two years later. I was very glad to see that story. And I’m sure there’s more out there. It’s very, very hard to get that kind of information.”
He went on to say that the financial picture for Trump has been a grim one because Trump has attacked his own customer base and his supporters aren’t likely to spend that much money at his properties.
“As you suspected, we don’t actually know the full financial picture,” Fahrenthold said of Trump’s economic stability. “When Eric Trump sits down to look at the profits and losses of the Trump Organization overall, I don’t know if it’s a profit or a loss. I can’t see that big picture. But certainly, looking property by property, you see a lot of properties, and it’s much more common to see properties where Trump’s business has gone down since he got into politics.”
“Before he got into politics, this is a guy whose brand was urban luxury, cool, you know, coastal city places to hang out,” Fahrentholdcontinued. “Then he turned those very customers against him. He ran against those people. So, Trump’s hotel in New York and Chicago at Doral especially down in Florida, you have seen business decline. In Doral, the profitability dropped 70 percent. A lot of these places him being president has hurt his brand more than it’s helped it.”
Watch his full take below:
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