Tuesday 22/10/2019 - 04:34 am


Trump slammed Obama for this... Now he does the same


2019.05.29 02:34

 Before they saw President Donald Trump, the thousands of supporters who attended his rally earlier this month in Pennsylvania first saw a symbol of the presidency: the iconic blue-and-white jet instantly recognizable as Air Force One.

 
As the presidential plane approached the small airport where Trump would speak, audio of air traffic controllers clearing it to land was piped through speakers. A senior Trump campaign aide posted a video of the plane taxiing up to the stage, where it would remain throughout the rally as a dramatic visual backdrop.
 
Trumps trip to Pennsylvania was only the latest example in which he has relied on Air Force One for campaigning, raising long-standing questions about how taxpayer money is allocated for political travel. The plane, usually a Boeing 747, has carried Trump to rallies, fundraisers and events billed as official business in states such as Pennsylvania and Florida that are crucial to his hopes for reelection in 2020.
 
Trumps campaign reimburses the government for a portion of the travel but in a mystery that has frustrated watchdog groups for decades, there is secrecy around how the White House accounts for Air Force One and other travel expenses.
 
White House and Trump campaign officials said they follow federal regulations, but declined to provide details. 
 
"Its up to the White House to determine if the trip has a political purpose," said Brendan Doherty, a political scientist at the U.S. Naval Academy and an expert on presidential travel and fundraising. "We usually dont get a full picture of what that cost is."  
 
Such trips are not unique to Trump. His predecessors, including President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush, also logged many hours on Air Force One for trips focused on official business, campaigning or a mix of both.
 
Trump criticized Obama for the practice in 2016.  
 
"Taxpayers are paying a fortune for the use of Air Force One on the campaign trail by President Obama and Crooked Hillary," Trump tweeted. "A total disgrace!"
 
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