The U.S. Air Force has ordered a world-wide review of how it chooses overnight accommodations on long flights following revelations that air crews had occasionally stayed at President Donald Trump’s Scotland resort while refueling at a small commercial airport nearby.
The review comes as additional instances of military personnel staying at Trump properties have been uncovered. The C-17 crew’s overnight stay at Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland earlier this year, first reported by POLITICO on Friday, was not an isolated incident.
In September 2018, on its way back to the U.S. from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, a unit of the Maine Air National Guard landed at Prestwick Airport, the airport closest to Trump’s luxury waterfront resort. The crew and their passengers then spent the night at his hotel, according to one person who was present, an Instagram post and a voucher detailing the crew’s itinerary reviewed by POLITICO.
The Air Force did not immediately respond to questions about that September stay, but Air Force Brig. Gen. Ed Thomas, the chief spokesman, told POLITICO in a statement that “initial reviews indicate that aircrew transiting through Scotland adhered to all guidance and procedures.”
He acknowledged, however, that U.S. service members “lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not advisable. Therefore, we are reviewing all associated guidance.”
He added: “Even when USAF aircrews follow all directives and guidance, we must still be considerate of perceptions of not being good stewards of taxpayer funds that might be created through the appearance of aircrew staying at such locations.”