Sean Hannity, Donald Trump (Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com/Reuters/Brendan McDermid/Photo montage by Salon)

Sean Hannity fact-check of the week: No, Trump didn’t send his private jet to transport “stranded” Gulf War marines

WaPo reveals the Trump Shuttle plane was contracted to the military to pay off loans on the failed business venture


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Brendan Gauthier
August 12, 2016 5:18pm (UTC)

In a May post on his website, Fox News personality Sean Hannity falsely claimed that in 1991 now-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump sent his private jet to retrieve 200 "stranded" Gulf War veterans from Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

According to the erroneous report — which "the Trump campaign has confirmed" — "Mr. Trump did indeed send his plane to make two trips from North Carolina to Miami, Florida to transport over 200 Gulf War Marines back home."

Nudged by reader mail, Washington Post fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, looked deeper into the "suspicious" anecdote and found that the plane — though it bore Trump's name, as does his private jet — was actually one of a Trump Shuttle fleet of planes from his short-lived airline.

In an effort to pay off $325 million in loans on the flailing business, Kessler noted, Trump had contracted some of his Trump Shuttle jets to the U.S. military "to ferry personnel in the United States during Operations Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991."

"I certainly was not aware of that. It does not sound reasonable that it would happen like that. It would not fit in with how we did business," Lt. Gen. Vernon J. Kondra, who was in charge of military airlift operations at the time, told The Post. "I don’t even know of how he would have known there was a need."

When Donald Trump says he could shoot someone on Fifth Ave. and his supporters wouldn't waver, he undoubtedly has Sean Hannity in mind.

During this election cycle, Hannity has: peddled a moot voter fraud theory to support Trump's claim that the election is rigged; launched an investigation into the Gold Star Khan parents, whose political agenda he said made them unfairly target Trump; and claimed "nothing" Trump's "said is racist."

(h/t NewsHounds)


Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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