President Donald Trump took a shot at U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill on Wednesday over a controversy about her reported use of a private plane during a campaign tour of the state last month.
The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news outlet, published a report comparing GPS data for McCaskill’s private plane against her campaign stops after the Missouri Democrat had tweeted about how she was “hitting the road” in an RV last month.
The report inspired mockery by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the GOP candidates seeking to oust her this fall, including Attorney General Josh Hawley, the GOP frontrunner.
Trump, who has endorsed Hawley, joined the fray Wednesday afternoon with an attack against McCaskill on Twitter.
“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,” tweeted Trump, who used his own private jet to travel throughout the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump's use of his jet received scrutiny in the 2016 election after Politico reported that one of his companies, TAG Air Inc., received $1.6 million in reimbursement from the Secret Service for the cost of agents riding on the jet.
McCaskill appeared to reference this controversy when she responded to Trump's attack by noting that the money for her plane use came out of her own pocket.
“Paying on my own dime to visit more Missouri veterans is not something I’m going to apologize for," McCaskill said in a statement.
McCaskill’s campaign said she used the RV to travel during the bulk of the trip, but acknowledged that she used the plane during stretches, including when it transported her from Joplin to Kansas City for an overnight stay.
“I was on the RV so much that the broken drawer was driving me crazy,” McCaskill said in a statement. “I spent 2+ days on the RV and only used the plane when we added a stop in St. Joe (where the RV was unable to travel) and to get to my overnights.”