Former President Donald Trump denied he is using campaign funds to pay for a new plane, calling news coverage on the topic “incorrect” and “ridiculous.”
“The story was incorrect,” Trump told The Hill in a phone interview. “I already have a plane, the same one I used on the 2016 campaign.”
He added: “Can you imagine me using campaign funds for a plane?”
Last week, news outlets reported that Trump had asked his supporters to fund a new plane after his new “Trump Force One” private plane had to make an emergency landing because one of its engines failed.
Trump reportedly sent a fundraising email saying he had “a very important update on his plane” through his Save America PAC. The email, titled “Update Trump Force One,” mentioned that Trump’s “team is building a BRAND NEW Trump Force One.”
Trump’s team had contacted The Hill seeking a retraction and the news outlet updated its original story to note that the email does not explicitly ask his supporters to fund the new plane.
Trump was traveling back to Mar-a-Lago from the Four Seasons Hotel in New Orleans in a private jet when the pilot had to make an emergency landing because of an engine failure.
A source who spoke to Politico said the plane was in the air for between 20 and 30 minutes before the pilot was forced to turn around.
Audio of the communications between the pilot and the air traffic control tower revealed that the landing was described as ’emergency in nature,’ according to the source, who had been briefed on the recording. However, another person familiar with the recording disputed that the word ’emergency’ was used,” Politico reported.
Trump did eventually find another plane and eventually made it back to Palm Beach, Florida, where Mar-a-Lago is located.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.