The White House released a statement today clarifying the use of Air Force One for campaigning purposes.
In a statement released this morning, the White House defended President Obama’s use of Air Force One to stump for Democratic presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton. The president and Clinton flew to Charlotte, North Carolina today, their first appearance together on the campaign trail. They left just a few hours after Clinton was cleared of charges in association with the FBI investigation into her use of private servers for official emails.
All presidents traditionally fly on Air Force One for any and all flights, regardless of the reason for travel. According to The Hill, the Democratic National Committee is obliged to pay a share of the cost for the president to use Air Force One to attend political events. The federal government, however, has not released the formula for determining the exact share of costs.
According to USA Today, the U.S. Air Force reported two years ago that the hourly cost of running Air Force One was $206,337. The flight to Charlotte where Obama and Clinton are scheduled to appear will take approximately one hour. Hillary Clinton will not be returning to Washington, D.C. with the president. Instead, the presumptive nominee will be heading to Atlantic City, New Jersey for a campaign event on Wednesday.
USA Today also quoted the White House statement:
‘As in other administrations, we follow all rules and regulations to ensure that the DNC or other relevant political committee pays what is required for the president to travel to political events.’
The presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, is up in arms over what he sees as special privilege for his Democratic opponent.
Trump took to Twitter to rant:
Why is President Obama allowed to use Air Force One on the campaign trail with Crooked Hillary? She is flying with him tomorrow. Who pays?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2016
Taxpayers are paying a fortune for the use of Air Force One on the campaign trail by President Obama and Crooked Hillary. A total disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2016
Never mind that Donald Trump has put millions of the dollars donated by his supporters into his own company’s coffers. And it’s not news that Donald Trump is completely unfamiliar with common practices that prohibit the co-mingling of government funds, political donations, and personal assets.
Perhaps the best celebrity response to today’s Donald Trump hissy fit comes from Keith Olbermann. Olbermann is a former political commentator and host of MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann”:
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) July 5, 2016
Trump will also be campaigning in North Carolina today, speaking in Raleigh along with Tennessee Senator, Republican Bob Corker. Corker is rumored to be on Trump’s vice presidential short list.
Featured image via Getty Images.