President Donald Trump has used Air Force One for political trips – the very practice he once criticized Barack Obama for, USA Today is reporting.
Trump has used the plane to travel to rallies, fundraisers, and events billed as official business in states such as Florida and Pennsylvania – both crucial to his re-election efforts, the newspaper noted.
A portion of the expense is reimbursed by Trump’s campaign. Both the White House and the president’s campaign maintain they follow federal regulations, but decline to give details.
“It’s 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. “We usually don’t get a full picture of what that cost is.”
Trump had criticized Obama in July 2016 for using Air Force One for political trips.
He had tweeted: “Taxpayers are paying a fortune for the use of Air Force One on the campaign trail by President Obama and Crooked Hillary. A total disgrace!”
USA Today said Trump has flown on Air Force One for roughly two dozen trips in 2019. At least 10 trips involved some political activity.
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