September 6, 2019
U.S. Military May Be Keeping Donald Trump's Failing Scotland Resort Afloat With Spending Surge, Report Says

The U.S. military has made an unusual surge in spending around Donald Trump's resort in Scotland, with a new report saying it could be an attempt to keep the president's financially sinking resort from going under.

The House Oversight Committee is looking into the spike in spending around the resort and trying to determine why an Air National Guard crew traveling to Kuwait to deliver supplies made a stop to Donald Trump's resort in Scotland on both legs of the trip.

As Politico reported, the unusual stop appears to be a key part of the wider and unreported probe on military spending at Trump's Turnberry resort outside of Glasgow, Scotland. A letter obtained by Politico from the committee to the Pentagon noted that the military has spent $11 million on fuel at Prestwick Airport, the closet airport to Trump's resort. The same fuel could have been purchased cheaper at a U.S. military base, the report noted.

As the letter also noted, the airport offers discounted rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for members of the U.S. military.

The unusual surge in spending could be helping to keep the failing resort from going under financially, Politico reported.

"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," the report noted.

As the report noted, the C-17 convoy that stopped at Trump's Turnberry resort normally makes pit stops at U.S. air and naval bases. The congressional panel is now trying to determine why the crew stopped at Turnberry rather than Lakenheath Air Base in England, which would have been cheaper, as the U.S. military pays a higher rate for fuel at commercial airports.

The strange layover even caused a stir among the crew members, Politico reported. One of them texted someone close to say that the per diem food allowance was not enough to purchase food and drinks at Trump's expensive resort. It was not clear if the U.S. military member had to pay out of pocket for food at the resort owned by the president's company.

As The Hill reported, the news of the congressional investigation comes days after Vice President Mike Pence stirred controversy by staying at Donald Trump's Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland. The location was so far from Pence's official visit, 182 miles away in Dublin, that he had to board Air Force One just to commute from his hotel to the meetings.