Nancy Pelosi's $2 million in travel junkets is starting to get noticed
Not only was President Trump's masterly counter-move against House speaker Nancy Pelosi an expert power play against the speaker's bid to take the television set away from him at the State of the Union, but it drew attention to something that doesn't get much attention, the fact that she's got some Imelda Marcos-style spending habits in state-financed travel.
According to the Daily Caller, citing Judicial Watch:
Pelosi's trip to Italy and Ukraine from July 30 to Aug. 6, 2015, cost the Air Force $184,587.81, according to documents released Saturday under a 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by Judicial Watch. Her delegation was made up of nine other members of Congress, including Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo of California.
Four family members, including Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi, were on the trip. The delegation dined at restaurants including James Beard American Restaurant in Milan, where a five-course meal cost up to $190, according to Fine Dining Lovers. The lawmakers also toured the Vatican and met up with Italian dignitaries, including President Sergio Mattarella and then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, according to their itinerary.
It gets worse. According to Judicial Watch itself:
Beginning in 2009, after the media failed to follow up on concerns raised about Nancy Pelosi's use of luxury Air Force jets to travel between her congressional district and DC, Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information act requests exposed her abuse of this travel perk. Judicial Watch uncovered that Pelosi's military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over one two-year period – $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.
Two million bucks? Presumably coming out of the Air Force budget? This is the act of an unaccountable elite at its very worst. It's quite obvious this taxpayer-paid tour was chock-full of sightseeing and shopping for the relatives, given their obvious uselessness as to the mission of the tour. I seem to recall that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) got an indictment for using his own campaign money this way, which is an affront to his donors.
Nancy Pelosi wouldn't dream of stiffing her donors. For her, it's all about stiffing taxpayers – and getting away with it.
It goes to show just how right President Trump was to cut off the government spigot for her – and those reported 93 relatives she was taking with her to Brussels, Afghanistan, and Egypt, which columnist Kurt Schlichter aptly skewered in one of his latest). Pelosi's howls about not being able to go on it because it would have to be a commercial flight and Trump spilled the beans for suggesting she do it are disingenuous. Seems she's always citing security concerns these days – whether it's the wall, the state of the union address or her next junket. Security, security, security.
What we have here is a bid to feast at the trough with zero accountability. Trump was right to cut off Pelosi's travel in that latest junket. One hopes he will keep doing that to ensure debate about whether Pelosi is entitled to all those free rides for shopping. Trump couldn't have done us a better favor than by shining a light on this scam.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story included Rep. Marcia Fudge as part of the 2015 CODEL. This is incorrect and has been updated in the story.