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The Pentagon has spent more than $124,000 at Trump's Scotland resort since August 2017
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.
Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and Representative Jamie Raskin, who chairs the civil rights subcommittee, said that while the Defense Department had not given Congress information about the total number of rooms it had booked at the resort, it did say the average cost of a room for U.S. service personnel between August 2017 and July 2019 was $189 per night.
They said the Pentagon had also informed them that during that time period, Pentagon expenditures "specifically associated with the Trump Turnberry ... amounted to $124,578.96."
If the Pentagon figures on the total costs are accurate, the lawmakers said, "it appears that U.S. taxpayer funds were used to purchase the equivalent of more than 659 rooms at the Trump Turnberry just since August 2017 - or the equivalent of one room every night for more than one-and-a-half years."
Asked to comment, a Pentagon spokeswoman said: "As with all congressional correspondence, we will respond directly to the authors of the letter."
The lawmakers said their estimate did not include another $59,729 in "unspecified charges to government travel cards" as well as $16.6 million in fuel purchased by the U.S. military at nearby Prestwick Airport between Jan. 20, 2017, and June 21, 2019.
The congressmen said they were concerned the department had refused to turn over communications with "outside entities" about Turnberry or Prestwick Airport, and instead had referred their inquiries to the White House.
In a recent exchange in Scotland's regional parliament, a Liberal Democrat member, Mike Rumbles, asked Scotland's government to confirm how much money Prestwick Airport had received from the U.S. military for its operations, and whether the government could confirm news reports that the Pentagon provided the airport's "largest single income stream."
Scotland's Transport Minister, Michael Matheson, responded that Prestwick Airport had been used by military units since the 1930s for "stopovers and refueling."
Matheson said the airport itself "generally" only booked rooms for the U.S. military at Trump's resort if other hotels were unavailable or customers specifically requested it. "There is no commercial relationship between Prestwick and Turnberry," he said.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Tom Brown)
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.