Trump's Use of Pentagon Cash to Get His Scottish Turnberry Resort Out of Debt Is Theft in Plain Sight

September 7, 2019

Trump Turnberry Resort in Scotland ( Ronnie Macdonald )

Trump Turnberry Resort in Scotland (Ronnie Macdonald)

Note by BuzzFlash: Politico on September 6: It is possible that “the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat — the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.” Of course, this investigation by the House Oversight Committee comes on the heels of Trump telling Mike Pence to go 180 miles out of his way to have the government pay for all the costs associated with Pence and his entourage staying at Trump’s Irish golf resort.

But, in reality, these are just two examples of Trump repeatedly having taxpayer dollars end up in the Trump Organization’s coffers, of which he is still the sole owner. They follow upon Trump’s plan to hold the G-7 meeting next year at his Doral Resort in Floris.

By Eoin Higgins

Common Dreams

A Friday report from Politico detailing how the U.S. Air Force is diverting resources to prop up President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort in Scotland prompted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to call for impeachment. 

"The President is corrupt and must be impeached," the New York Democrat tweeted Friday night in response to the story, which was broken by reporters Natasha Bertrand and Bryan Bender. 

Politico details how the House Oversight Committee is investigating why a military flight to and from Kuwait stopped at the resort—and how that incident is part of a broader pattern of military spending in and around the Scottish resort.

The inquiry is part of a broader, previously unreported probe into U.S. military expenditures at and around the Trump property in Scotland. According to a letter the panel 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. The letter also cites a Guardian report that the airport provided cut-rate rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for U.S. military members.

Taken together, the incidents raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat—the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.

Prestwick Airport has seen its own financial troubles as well and the Scottish government, which bought the airport in 2013, has expressed interest in selling it. The six-figure refueling stops from the U.S. military, however, are sure to raise questions, especially given the president's 2014 comments that he would ensure Prestwick was "really successful" after selecting the airport as the hub for Turnberry.

In a letter from June requesting information, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the House Oversight Committee chair, said the military spending demands answers.

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"Given the President's continued financial stake in his Scotland golf courses," wrote Cummings, "these reports raise questions about the President's potential receipt of U.S. or foreign government emoluments in violation of the U.S. Constitution and raise other serious conflict of interest concerns."

While the oversight committee has asked the military for documents relating to the unusual expenses, thus far there's been no response. 

"The Defense Department has not produced a single document in this investigation," a senior Democratic aide told Politico. "The committee will be forced to consider alternative steps if the Pentagon does not begin complying voluntarily in the coming days."

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