On Monday, former President Donald Trump responded to claims that he is using campaign funds to construct a new plane for himself, saying the rumors are not true.
Trump conducted a phone interview in which he took issue with an article posted by The Hill over the past weekend that cited a fundraising email from his political action committee.
“The story was incorrect,” Trump said in his response to The Hill. “I already have a plane, the same one I used on the 2016 campaign.” The former president did note that his plane is being serviced in Louisiana, but he said it should be back in the air in the next three months.
“It is owned by me and financed by me, with no debt,” Trump added, saying he had to fly on Air Force One while he was the president for security reasons.
When pressed on the fundraising email that referenced his plane in asking for donations, Trump said, “I don’t know. I never saw the email [before it went out].” Still, Trump emphasized that the story was “ridiculous. … Can you imagine me using campaign funds for a plane?”
The email boasted the title “Update: Trump Force One” and was sent out just days after the jet sending the president to Mar-a-Lago had to make an emergency landing due to one of its engines failing.
In the email, Trump apparently said his team is “building a BRAND NEW Trump Force One” and suggested the aircraft was being constructed. The email urged his supporters to “Contribute ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY to send your response to President Trump!”
Once The Hill’s story was published, an aide for Trump sent an email to The Hill, seeking a retraction. The Hill did, however, update its story on Sunday afternoon to say the email does not explicitly ask donors for contributions toward the plane.