President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE on Wednesday chastised Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMissouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties Senate faces protracted floor fight over judges amid pandemic safety concerns Amash on eyeing presidential bid: ‘Millions of Americans’ want someone other than Trump, Biden MORE (D-Mo.) for using a private plane during part of her RV campaign tour of Missouri.
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“Senator Claire McCaskill of the GREAT State of Missouri flew around in a luxurious private jet during her RV tour of the state. RV’s are not for her,” Trump tweeted.
“People are really upset, so phony! Josh Hawley should win big, and has my full endorsement,” he added, highlighting his support for McCaskill’s Republican challenger in the November election.
Senator Claire McCaskill of the GREAT State of Missouri flew around in a luxurious private jet during her RV tour of the state. RV’s are not for her. People are really upset, so phony! Josh Hawley should win big, and has my full endorsement.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
The tweet from Trump, who traveled across the country on his own private jet during his presidential campaign, comes one day after McCaskill acknowledged to multiple news outlets that she used her private plane during parts of what she branded an RV tour of Missouri.
“Paying on my own dime to visit more Missouri veterans is not something I’m going to apologize for,” McCaskill said in a statement following Trump’s tweet.
She downplayed a Washington Free Beacon report that showed her plane’s flight data tracking closely with her RV’s route. McCaskill called the outlet’s work “not accurate” and dismissed it as “election-year silliness.”
“The plane picked me up at the end of one day after I spent all day on the RV and it took me to my overnight location,” McCaskill told CNN.
“And the next day we used the plane to add a stop,” she continued. “But I was on the RV totally — two of the three days I was out.”
McCaskill, who is seeking her third term in the Senate, is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection this year.
Hawley, the Missouri attorney general who is running to unseat her, seized on the reports of her private plane use.
“I thought you sold the ‘damn plane,’ ” Hawley tweeted, referring to a previous tax controversy over a different private plane owned by McCaskill and her husband in 2011. McCaskill said at the time that she “convinced my husband to sell the damn plane” because it had “been more trouble than it’s worth.”
“How about this: why don’t you give up using your luxury jet for the next 147 days? Just 147 days. You can do it. Come live like the rest of us,” Hawley continued.
I thought you sold the “damn plane.” How about this: why don’t you give up using your luxury jet for the next 147 days? Just 147 days. You can do it. Come live like the rest of us. I dare you #MOSen https://t.co/IvjlSx6VxN
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 12, 2018
Trump first endorsed Hawley during a November trip to Missouri to tout the Republican tax-cut plan that was making its way through Congress at the time. He pledged to campaign with Hawley at a later date.
“I said, ‘Josh, when you’re ready, you have my word, I’m going to come here and campaign with you,’ ” Trump told the crowd in St. Charles, Mo. “We got to get you in. OK?”
— Updated 5:50 p.m.