“New Documents Show Pentagon Spent At Least $184,000 in U.S. Taxpayer Funds at President Trump’s Turnberry Resort,” Oversight and Reform Democrats noted as a headline for their third letter to the Department of Defense demanding documents that they say are being withheld by the DOD regarding taxpayer funds being spent at Trump’s Turnberry golf resort in Scotland.
Democrats say, and no actual ethics expert argues the contrary, that these expenditures are a violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
We are here again because Donald Trump refused to actually divest his interests and is using the presidency to prop up his failing businesses by forcing money to be spent at his hotels and clubs, mob boss style, as a quid pro quo.
“The Department failed to produce any underlying invoices or travel records relating to spending at Trump Turnberry or Prestwick Airport. It is unclear why the Department has taken so long to produce such rudimentary and deficient information,” the Democrats wrote, in what appears to be legalese for: ‘WTF.’
As you can guess, the initial press accounts were not accurate. There is more. There is always more when it comes to Trump, the man who pressured NOAA to lie for him as cover for his ignorance.
“Although initial press accounts reported only a single instance of a military crew staying at Trump Turnberry this spring, the data provided by the Department now indicates that U.S. taxpayer funds have been used to pay for more than three dozen separate stays involving hundreds of nights of rooms—all after the President was sworn into office.”
You probably remember when the DOD told the press that the average cost of a room for military between August 2017 and July 2019 was $189 and amounted to $124,578.96.
The Democrats say it “appears that U.S. taxpayer funds were used to purchase the equivalent of more than 650 rooms at the Trump Turnberry just since August 2017″ which does not include “an additional $59,729.12” in unspecified charges, which would boost total military spending at Trump Turnberry to more than $184,000.”
Oh, gee. Let’s imagine for a moment that Barack Obama owned a golf club in Scotland and was directing the military to stay there. Directing taxpayer funds go directly to his own pockets.
Republicans accused Obama of being a dictator, but now they have an actual dictator fan boy in the White House, using our country like a cheap booty call, and they are nodding their heads smugly as if this is fine. It’s all fine.
There is more.
Fuel “expenditures at the airport from January 20, 2017 through June 21, 2019 amounted to $16,617,664.72.”
The Democrats are also side-eying the DOD’s refusal to produce communications with outside entities about Trump Turnberry or Prestwick Airport.
The DOD is referring the Democrats to the White House on this matter. Now, why would they do that since the President claimed he had nothing to do with this? Oh, right, because Trump lies. Constantly.
“I had nothing to do with the decision of our great @VP Mike Pence to stay overnight at one of the Trump owned resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland,” Trump tweeted in the early morning of this original story on September 9th.
“I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own) in Scotland, and filling up with fuel, with the crew staying overnight at Turnberry (they have good taste!). NOTHING TO DO WITH ME,” Trump also tweeted.
Yet now the DOD is coordinating with the White House on responses.
Democrats have requested these documents before. Two times. This is the third time.
The Democratic base and Independents are getting angry with Democrats for not being able to stop this administration and the Republicans in the Senate and House from their attacks on our fundamental principles. To those folks, I would like to remind everyone that Mitch McConnell is operating like Francis Underwood and Donald Trump is Biff Tannen meets Bill the Butcher, with the soul of Mr. Potter.
These are perilous times. Perhaps the rule of law will manage to be upheld, but Democrats in the House can’t do it alone. It is going to take a loss of public support for Republicans, a loss of gerrymandered into perpetual safety districts for Republicans, and huge voter turnout at every single election to put a stop to this graft and backstabbing of our country.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.