By Janita Kan
President Donald Trump told reporters on Sept. 9 that he will be releasing a financial report on himself ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump made the promise to release such a report to dispel accusations and concerns that he may be profiting from American taxpayers’ money. This comes after an Air Force stopover at a Scottish airport prompted an inquiry by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, as it included a stay at a resort owned by Trump.
“I haven’t found out other than when a plane stops at a massive international airport and gets fuel; I don’t own the airport … I own a lot of different places. Soon you’ll find that out because I will be—at some point prior to the election—I’m going to be giving out a financial report of me, and it’ll be extremely complete,” Trump said after he was asked by a reporter about the Air Force stopover in Scotland.
“I’m going to give out my financial condition, and you’ll be extremely shocked that the numbers are many, many times what you think. I don’t need to have somebody take a room overnight at a hotel,” he added.
The president also brought up another recent controversy regarding Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to stay at Trump’s property in Doonbeg, Ireland, during a state visit to the country. This stopover also sparked a separate inquiry with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
“Every time you find a person landing an airplane within 500 miles of something I own, Mike Pence as an example, his family lives in Doonbeg, Ireland, and he’s actually told me that he stayed there many years ago,” Trump said. “I bought it years ago. But he was there before I bought it, I believe he said. A long time ago. He was in Ireland, so he said you know what I’ll do? I’ll see my family. I didn’t know about that. But I can say he has good taste.”
Earlier in the day, the president addressed both stopovers on social media, where he denied having any knowledge of the decision to stay at his properties.
“I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own) in Scotland, and filling up with fuel, with the crew staying overnight at Turnberry (they have good taste!). NOTHING TO DO WITH ME,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Air Force leaders also ordered a review into guidelines relating to the selection of airports and lodging accommodations during international travels, according to a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.
“While initial reviews indicate that aircrew transiting through Scotland adhered to all guidance and procedures, we understand that U.S. Service members lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not advisable,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Trump also addressed Pence’s stay at his resort in Ireland, writing: “I had nothing to do with the decision of our great @VP Mike Pence to stay overnight at one of the Trump-owned resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland. Mike’s family has lived in Doonbeg for many years, and he thought that during his very busy European visit, he would stop and see his family!”
Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, told reporters on Sept. 3 that the vice president’s office made a decision to stay at Trump’s resort due to its convenience and safety.
“It’s a facility that could accommodate the team,” Short said. “Keep in mind, the Secret Service has protected that facility for [Trump], too, so they sort of know the realities; they know the logistics around that facility.”
Democrats have been ramping up inquiries into Trump’s financial records, and tax returns after Special Counsel Robert Mueller failed to determine that the president’s campaign had colluded with Russia. Back in April, two House committees issued subpoenas to multiple financial institutions for information on Trump’s finances. Trump, his family, and his companies, subsequently sued the banks to block them from complying with the subpoenas. The House committees and Trump’s lawyers eventually reached an agreement to delay enforcing the subpoenas.