Today, when President Obama travelled with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to a campaign rally in Air Force One, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump took to Twitter to express his rage. Trump accused Obama of using taxpayer money to fund Clinton’s campaign travels – an accusation which is false.
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
The White House promptly released a statement explaining that Obama is not misappropriating taxpayers’ money for political purposes:
“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.”
While the White House was informative, commentator Keith Olbermann stole the show with his blunt response to Trump’s attempt to weave a conspiracy:
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) July 5, 2016
It is worth noting that President Obama is not just “permitted to fly on AF1” – he cannot travel in any other airplane for security reasons. In other words, Obama used presidential-level security, and the DNC paid to use those security services for political purposes. Trump’s attempt to blame Obama for using his own airplane shows that he understands little about the presidency and how presidential matters operate.
Trump loves to distract from his inadequacies as a candidate (ranging from general incompetence to “textbook racism“) by alleging that his rivals are implicated in deep conspiracies. Just like all the others – including allegations by Trump that Obama was born in Africa – this one is firmly debunked. Obama and Clinton are not living large while the taxpayer foots the bill; they are following standard security and reimbursement procedures.