Friday, 20 September, 2019

Trump denies involvement in Pence's stay at Doonbeg

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler D-N.Y. speaks during a recess in a markup hearing on a series of bills on Tuesday in Washington Congress investigating Trump over US military trips to Scotland
Deanna Wagner | 11 September, 2019, 12:25

Democratic questions about Trump's businesses have only intensified since Politico first reported on Friday that Cummings' committee has, for several months, been investigating increased military expenditures at the Trump Turnberry golf course and resort in Scotland.

"To believe USAF's claim that stays at Turnberry were normal, you'd have to believe: it's a coincidence Trump owns it, emoluments are OK, no hotels under $166 were within 30 miles of the airport, the cost of meals + incidentals is irrelevant and an appearance of corruption is fine", tweeted Walter Shaub, a former top government ethics official and Trump critic.

Democrats in the US House of Representatives are looking into Mr Pence's stay at the Trump International Golf Club in Doonbeg, Co Clare, which is 300km away from Dublin, where his meetings were held.

The Trump Organization entered into an agreement with a Scottish airport in 2014 to increase traffic to his Turnberry golf resort, The New York Times reported. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.

The House Oversight Committee said in a letter to the Defense Department that missions using Prestwick Airport - the site closest to the president's golf club - "raise questions about the president's potential receipt of US or foreign government emoluments".

Democrats have accused the Vice President of funnelling United States taxpayers' money into a Trump business and have requested documents from the White House, the office of the Vice President, the Secret Service and the Trump Organisation.

And the Air Force, seemingly independently and coincidentally, was starting to use the airport more often and was among those being referred by their staff to Turnbury.

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Pence visited Ireland last week, while Trump stayed at home to monitor Hurricane Dorian and play golf at his course in Virginia. "Mike's family has lived in Doonbeg for many years, and he thought that during his very busy European visit, he would stop and see his family!"

Trump's own stays at his own properties, most notably Mar-a-Lago in Florida, as well as government and diplomatic use of his hotel in Washington, have raised concerns that he is profiting from his presidency. Gen. Edward Thomas, director of Air Force Public Affairs. Fuel at Prestwick is purchased at a US government-negotiated rate.

Trump linked the questions to those about Vice President Mike Pence's recent stay in Ireland at another Trump family-owned resort as he visited his family's ancestral home.

Statistics provided Sunday by the Air Force revealed that the Air Mobility Command aircraft stopped at Prestwick a total of 936 times - 659 of those stops included overnight stays - between 2015 and 2019.

The New York Times reported that as Mr. Trump began his eventually successful bid for the White House, the "Pentagon chose to ramp up its use of that same airport to refuel Air Force flights and gave the local airport authority the job of helping to find accommodations for flight crews who had to remain overnight".

"The President's resorts are hotels that he owns". Turnberry is only booked if other hotels are unavailable or customers specifically request it.

The Air Force is calling for a wide-ranging review of housing policies for personnel operating around the world in the wake of multiple reports that crew members have stayed at Trump properties during overnight refueling stops.