Politics

Democrats Seek Probe of Air Force One Tours for Mar-a-Lago Members

Warren, others question special access for members of the president’s club

The request for inquiry stems from a BuzzFeed article alleging tours of the president’s plane were given to members of the national golf club owned by the president in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Were members of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club given special tours of Air Force One?

That’s the question a group of Senate Democrats, led by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, want two Pentagon inspectors general to find out.

“I am writing to request an Inspector General review of when and how individuals are provided tours of and access to Air Force One,” the senators wrote in a Wednesday letter.

The request — directed to acting Defense Department IG Glenn A. Fine and Lt. Gen. Stayce Harris, who is the Air Force IG — was prompted by a BuzzFeed report on July 9 that Air Force One tours tours appeared to have been given last year to members of Mar-a-Lago and the Trump International Golf Club. 

Trump frequents the Palm Beach, Florida, club in the winter months.

The White House suggested to BuzzFeed that there was nothing particularly unusual about friends of the president getting tours of the presidential military plane, and that members of the club who may have received invitations were likely to have been old friends of Trump.

Still, the Democratic senators said in their letter that the circumstances are different, given that Trump continues to own the properties in South Florida.

“Previous Presidents have provided friends and even campaign donors tours of Air Force One, but the reports that members of the President’s private club may have received such tours are particularly troubling because their relationship to the President arises out of an ongoing business relationship with the President,” the senators wrote.

“If true, these reports could mean that the President or his family have used government property for private gain — giving tours of Air Force One as a perk for club membership — or that some citizens have potentially been able to buy access to Air Force One via their personal payments to the President’s private club,” the letter continued.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island signed on to the Warren letter, in which they also raised readiness and defense concerns.

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