Senator wants Air Force to ban airmen from staying at Trump resorts while flying missions


A Democratic lawmaker wants Air Force secretary nominee Barbara Barrett to prohibit airmen from staying at hotels owned by President Donald Trump during mission-related stopovers.

Politico reporters Natasha Bertrand and Bryan Bender first brought to light that Congress investigating why seven airmen stayed at Trump's Turnberry resort in March during a layover in Scotland.

On Sept. 9, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Acting Air Force Secretary Matthew Donovan ordered the head of Air Mobility Command to review of how it determines which airports and hotels to use for overnight stops.

"The National Defense Strategy requires the Department of Defense and its personnel to exercise efficiency and fiscal prudence when spending taxpayer dollars," Goldfein and Donovan wrote in their memo ordering the review. "Doing so is critical to our maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people and Congress."

During Barrett's confirmation hearing on Thursday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said he had learned service members and Defense Department civilians spent $140,000 at Trump-branded properties in the first half of 2017 alone.

Barrett promised she would provide Blumenthal with a complete accounting of how much the Air Force has spent on lodging airmen at Trump resorts, but Blumenthal pressed her to go even further.

"Will you commit to using a service-wide policy to prohibit all Air Force personnel from using Trump properties for military travel whenever operationally feasible?" Blumenthal asked. "You and I discussed the appearance – wholly apart from the reality – of the president profiting from Department of Defense expenditures at properties he owns is absolutely unacceptable."

Barrett tried to avoid speaking about Trump resorts specifically by replying there need to be rules and regulations about travel dealing with the appearance of conflicts of interest that also "should not be specific to any particular owner."

Not satisfied, Blumenthal argued Trump is violating the Constitution's foreign and domestic emoluments clauses, which are meant to prevent the president and other government officials from accepting money and gifts intended to influence them. He repeated his request that Barrett issue an Air Force policy to, "Prevent the commander in chief from profiting from Department of Defense expenditures."

"I'll take a look at the rules and regulations on that and evaluate what policy should be issued," Barrett replied.

But Blumenthal issued a not-so-veiled warning to Barrett that she would have to do more than that to get his support for her nomination.

"Before your confirmation, I hope you will provide a clearer answer to this committee," he said.

It has been a deadly year for Green Berets, with every active-duty Special Forces Group losing a valued soldier in Afghanistan or Syria.

A total of 12 members of the Army special operations forces community have died in 2019, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. All but one of those soldiers were killed in combat.

In Afghanistan, Army special operators account for 10 of the 17 U.S. troops killed so far this year. Eight of the fallen were Green Berets. Of the other two soldiers, one was attached to the 10th Special Forces Group and the other was a Ranger.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Documents from the Pentagon show that "far more taxpayer funds" were spent by the U.S. military on overnight stays at a Trump resort in Scotland than previously known, two Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday, as they demanded more evidence from the Defense Department as part of their investigation.

In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the heads of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee and one of it subcommittees said that while initial reports indicated that only one U.S. military crew had stayed at President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort southeast of Glasgow, the Pentagon had now turned over data indicating "more than three dozen separate stays" since Trump moved into the White House.

Read More Show Less
Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley from 1979's 'Alien' (20th Century Fox)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

QUANTICO, Va. -- Marines who spend much of their day lifting hefty ammunition or moving pallets full of gear could soon get a helping hand.

The Marine Corps is close to signing a deal to test an exoskeleton prototype that can help a single person move as much as several leathernecks combined.

Read More Show Less
NEC Corp.'s machine with propellers hovers at the company's facility in Abiko near Tokyo, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. The Japanese electronics maker showed a "flying car," a large drone-like machine with four propellers that hovered steadily for about a minute. (Associated Press/Koji Sasahara

'Agility Prime' sounds like a revolutionary new video streaming service, or a parkour-themed workout regimen, or Transformers-inspired niche porno venture.

But no, it's the name of the Air Force's nascent effort to replace the V-22 Osprey with a militarized flying car — and it's set to take off sooner than you think.

Read More Show Less
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

Task & Purpose is looking for a dynamic social media editor to join our team.

Our ideal candidate is an enthusiastic self-starter who can handle a variety of tasks without breaking a sweat. He or she will own our brand's social coverage while working full-time alongside our team of journalists and video producers, posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (feed, stories, and IGTV), YouTube, and elsewhere.

Read More Show Less