Massachusetts US Senator Elizabeth Warren is part of a group of senators who have asked the Air Force and Defense Department to investigate who President Trump has invited to tour Air Force One.
The senators cited a report that members of Trump’s exclusive clubs in Florida appear to have been invited on a tour last year.
“This use of Air Force One would not only raise questions about readiness, security, and taxpayer cost, but it also violates the basic principle against using public office for private gain, and could constitute a violation of federal ethics rules,” said the letter, which was sent to the inspectors general of the Air Force and Defense Department.
The other senators who signed were three fellow Democrats, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Thomas Carper of Delaware.
According to the letter, other presidents have given friends and even campaign donors tours of the plane, but “the reports that members of the President’s private club may have received such tours are particularly troubling because their relationship to the President arises out of an ongoing business relationship with the President.”
“If true, these reports could mean that the President or his family have used government property for private gain — giving tours of Air Force One as a perk for club membership — or that some citizens have potentially been able to buy access to Air Force One via their personal payments to the President’s private club,” the letter continued.
The senators asked for a review of “when and how” people have been provided access to Air Force One since Trump took office.
BuzzFeed reported last month that some members of Trump’s exclusive clubs, which include the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, appear to have been invited to tour the president’s plane, according to an invitation the outlet obtained and records it uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The White House press office didn’t immediately return an e-mail message seeking comment Thursday.
BuzzFeed reported that a White House spokeswoman said last year it was common for “friends/family” to receive a tour. The spokeswoman also said that if the invitation was sent to longtime club members “they are also most likely longtime friends of the President.”