President Donald Trump established a business agreement between Glasgow Prestwick Airport and his Turnberry resort in Scotland to increase tourism in the area.
Government records, released through Scottish Freedom of Information law, show that the Trump organization formed a partnership with the airport in 2014.
“As part of that arrangement, the Trump Organization worked to get Trump Turnberry added to a list of hotels that the airport would routinely send aircrews to, even though the Turnberry resort is 20 miles from the airport, farther away than many other hotels, and has higher advertised prices,” the New York Times reported.
During Trump’s presidency, both Air Force stop-overs in Prestwick and overnight stays by military officials at the Turnberry have increased.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee wrote in a letter to the Pentagon in June that since October 2017 the military has purchased fuel 629 times at the Prestwick airport, totaling $11 million. Air Force statistics state that the number of overnight stays at Turnberry jumped from 40 in 2015 to 220 by Aug. 2019.
The airport has a separate arrangement with the United States Air Force, in which the Scottish airport refuels U.S. military planes and helps arrange hotel accommodations for crews.
The Prestwick Airport released a statement saying, “We provide a full handling service for customers and routinely arrange overnight accommodation for visiting aircrew when requested. We use over a dozen local hotels, including Trump Turnberry, which accounts for a small percentage of the total hotel bookings we make.”
In June 2015, Jules Matteoni, a manager at the airport, wrote that, “As a list of hotels that we use for our business, being honest, Turnberry was always last on the list, based on price.”
It was this arrangement that caused a seven-person crew of a C-17 cargo plane from the Alaska Air National Guard headed to Kuwait to stay at the Turnberry resort in March, prompting the committee’s investigation.
Trump netting profit from taxpayer money has been a concern for many since he first became president. Pro-impeachment democrats are now citing the Turnberry as an example of corruption and trying to use it as a means of beginning impeachment proceedings.
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