Accuracy in Media

During layovers in Scotland, Air Force crew and passengers have stayed at Trump’s Turnberry resort to rest. According to Google Maps, the distance between the Glasgow Prestwick airport (which is where the Air Force planes land) to the Turnberry resort is over 23 miles one-way, or about 40 minutes by car. Another Google search displayed about six hotels in the immediate vicinity of the airport — in other words, the area surrounding the airport is not a bustling metropolis of hotels.

Politico’s narrative is that layovers at Trump’s Turnberry resort is an ethical quandary, similar to the issue of foreign officials staying at Trump-owned hotels and properties. CNN, CBS News and NBC News joined in on the criticism, too. CNN said it raises “ethics questions about government use” of the president’s private dealings, while NBC News pointed out that the Turnberry resort is the “subject of an ethics investigation” by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. CBS News also noted the congressional investigation into the resort.

However, the media buried the important fact that Air Force personnel and passengers have stayed at the Trump resort since 2015, which is before Trump’s election in 2016. Politico, CNN and NBC News wrote that the Air Force has stayed at the Turnberry resort since 2015, but CBS News omitted that piece of information in its article. According to the mainstream media, the visits to Turnberry have increased since 2015. Air Force personnel and passengers stayed 40 times in 2015, 75 in 2016, 116 in 2017, 208 in 2018 and 220 from January-August 2019.

The Air Force is investigating whether it violated any ethics rules or laws in compliance with the congressional investigation, but the service branch reiterated that it had followed all rules in securing layovers at Turnberry.

Air Force personnel and passengers have stayed at Turnberry since 2015, which contradicts the overall narrative of ethics violations since the overnight stays started during the Obama administration.

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