Donald Trump is quick to criticize and to call his opponents names. Yet, let anyone slight him, intentionally or not, POTUS will release the wrath of Khan on them. The president’s motto is if someone hits him, he hits them back 10 times harder. He does not care if the person is a woman like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a child, or the president of these United States. Of course, he has an interesting way of reversing things.
When Barack Obama was president and Secretary Clinton was running against him in 2016, Trump tweeted:
”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?”
When asked about POTUS travel costs, President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton told The USA TODAY newspaper:
‘That is a magic number. A secret number.’
Trump does not have to follow the Hatch Act which limits government officials from being involved in political activities. No president does. Conversely, the 2020 presidential campaign must follow all of the FEC rules about travel.
Chair of the House Administration Committee Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) asked for more documentation from the White House about how the administration determined which travel is reimbursed:
‘There is opacity in the way the White House designates an event as ‘political’ versus ‘official. The public has very little insight into whether and by what magnitude the American taxpayer is subsidizing the president’s campaign activities.’
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan set up written guidelines about how to divide political and official business travel. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service reported in 2012:
‘…the travel policies of specific administrations concerning the reimbursement of expenses for unofficial travel generally are not publicly available.’
Washington-based Campaign Legal Center’s Senior Director and former FEC attorney Adav Noti said:
‘It’s kind of left to the good faith discretion of the office holder…very murky…more clarity in this area would be helpful.’
White House spokesperson Judd Deere said that they fund the official part of their travels, which was just rephrasing the Treasury Department and FEC regulations.
‘(The) appropriate political committee funds their portion of the president’s political travel.’
COO of the Trump campaign Michael Glassner said:
‘…we comply with all Treasury protocol and FEC regulations.’
Former White House spokesperson Josh Earnest responded:
‘The Obama administration follows all the rules and regulations about paying for political travel that previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have followed.’
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote a letter to Trump’s White House Counsel Emmet Flood last October. He wanted to know about reimbursements:
‘The White House’s calculation of travel expenses can be especially challenging when the president travels to what is intended as an official event, but then engages in impromptu partisan activity. It is essential that taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize partisan political activities.’
The White House administration never bothered to respond to him.