The House Oversight Committee is trying to find out why a C-17 military transport plane carrying supplies in the spring from the US to Kuwait stopped at President Trump's resort in Scotland. The five-person crew stayed at the Turnberry resort, about 50 miles from Glasgow, on both legs of its trip. The 176th maintenance squadron usually stays at a Marriott or similar hotel; one crew member said food and drinks at the luxury resort were beyond the reach of the crew's per diem, Politico reports. The committee has asked the Pentagon about why the military has spent $11 million on 629 purchases of fuel since October 2017 at the commercial airport closest to Turnberry; the fuel would have cost less at a US military base. Lakenheath Air Base in England would have been a possibility.
The larger issue is whether US military spending has boosted the Trump property. It lost $4.5 million in 2017 before an increase in revenue of $3 million last year. The Pentagon has not answered the committee's inquiries, per CNN. The resort and the airport have lost money in the past few years. Prestwick Airport has promoted Turnberry in efforts to draw tourists and NASA contractors. The airport also has offered Turnberry rooms at a discount to civilian and military crew members, per the Guardian. Scotland has considered selling the airport, Slate points out, which would be a blow to Turnberry. "This smells like corruption," Rep. Ted Lieu said in a tweet addressed to the secretary of defense. (Mike Pence's stay at a Trump resort in Ireland also raised questions.)