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Tag: plane

Secret Service Pays Trump’s Company $1.6M to Fly with the Candidate

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Taxpayers forked over $1.6 million to one of Donald Trump’s companies for Secret Service protection on his private plane.

The money was for reimbursing TAG Air – one of Trump’s companies – for flying Secret Service agents to protect the candidate, Politico reports, citing Federal Election Commission records.

While it’s standard practice to cover the costs of the Secret Service traveling with the candidates, it’s very unusual for the money to enrich a candidate’s companies.

“The taxpayers are actually reimbursing Trump for the travel of the Secret Service agents,” said Brett Kappel, a campaign finance lawyer at the law firm Akerman LLP. “It’s just another example of how the Trump campaign has taken an unprecedentedly large amount of its money and spent it at Trump-owned facilities.”

Trump’s campaign said the Secret Service payments were in accordance with FEC guidelines and regulations.

A Secret Service spokeswoman said the FEC “specifically requires security personnel such as the Secret Service to reimburse campaigns for seats” on charter aircraft.

Trump once said, “I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”

FBI Investigating Allegations That Brad Pitt Abused Children on Private Jet

Actor Brad Pitt, via Wikipedia

Actor Brad Pitt, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating allegations that Brad Pitt was verbally and physically abusive with his children on a private jet last week.

The FBI is investigating because the alleged abuse occurred on a flight from France to the U.S.

“The FBI is continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told press in a statement late on Thursday night, Business Insider reports. 

A TMZ report suggested Pitt was drunk during the flight and that his wife Angelina Jolie and their children were on board.

Jolie has filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

NYPD Cops Accused of Having Sex with Prostitute on Plane in Ongoing Investigation

nypd badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The investigation into the New York Police Department uncovered more allegations against a cop and another high-ranking official.

The official and cop are accused of having sex with a prostitute aboard a private plane in a flight paid for by Jona Rechnitz, a real-estate investor who is being investigated by the FBI for allegedly providing gifts to police in exchange for favors, NJ.com reports. 

One of the officers, Deputy Inspector James Grant, was earlier ordered to turn over his gun and badge. The other cop, Detective Michael Milici, is on modified duty.

At least 20 officers were interviewed as part of the investigation.

College Student, Iraqi Refugee Removed from Plan for Using Traditional Arabic Greeting

Southwest Airlines plane.

Southwest Airlines plane.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A college student and refugee who fled Iraq after his father was killed by Saddam Hussein, was pulled from a Southwest flight and questioned by the FBI for using a traditional Arabic greeting, The Daily Californian reports. 

Khairuldeen Mahkzoomi was on a flight from Los Angeles to Oakland when it was reported that he said the phrase, “inshallah,” meaning “if God is willing,” to his uncle over the phone.

A passenger reported hearing Mahkzoomi say the word “shahid,” which means martyr.

Mahkzoomi was removed from the plane and interrogated by the FBI.

“The way they searched me and the dogs, the officers, people were watching me and the humiliation made me so afraid because it brought all of these memories back to me,” Mahkzoomi told the Daily Californian. “I escaped Iraq because of the war, because of Saddam and what he did to my father.”

The airline company responded: “We regret any less than positive experience on board our aircraft. … Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind.”

Border Patrol Spends $300,000 a Day Deporting Undocumented Immigrants by Plane

A Gulfstream IV jet like this was used numerous times to send immigrants home.

A Gulfstream IV jet like this was used numerous times to send immigrants home.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border officials are deporting illegal immigrants on commercial flights and private jets at a cost to taxpayers of more than $300,000 a day.

The Daily Mail reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent $116 million in 2015 to deport 235,413 back to their home countries.

About 40% of the deported immigrants were convicted criminals. Another 1,000 were identified as gang members.

The average cost to deport an immigrant by plane was $12,213 in 2015.

Included in that cost are identifying the immigrants, apprehending them, lodging them in a detention center, putting them through immigration court and then removing them.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigates Why Small Plane Crashed into Building in Anchorage


fbi-logBy Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating how a small plane ended up crashing through the third floor of a building in downtown Anchorage on Tuesday morning, BuzzFeed reports. 

The pilot, Lt. Doug Demarest, who was killed, was not authorized to fly the plane in Anchorage, the FBI said.

“What we’re trying to do is put those parts of the pieces together to see exactly how that happened and how the plane ended up where it is,” National Transportation Safety Board’s chief of aviation safety, Clint Johnson,told reporters. “We don’t know at this point.”

But federal authorities said they do not believe terrorism was a motive.

The Cessna 172S belonged to the Civil Air Patrol, which Demarest joined in 2010.

FBI Arrests Man Accused of Punching Flight Attendant, Threatening to Blow Up Plane

aiplane with copy space in the skyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 29-year-old who is accused of punching a flight attendant and threatening to blow up the plane while traveling from New York City to Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Alija Kucuk was on a Jet Blue plane when he punched an airline employee in the face and threatened to blow up the plane.

Kucuk, of Queens, N.Y., was arrested and charged with interfering with a flight attendant and threatening to blow up an aircraft.

FBI Assures Congress That Planes Aren’t Used for Mass Surveillance

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI assured Congress that its plane surveillance program is not intended to perform mass surveillance or bulk intelligence collection, the Associated Press reports. 

The FBI, however, declined to answer some questions about its planes, including how often they are used and how much they cost.

The briefing comes two weeks after the Associated Press revealed that the AP used fake company names to acquire at least 50 planes.

Most of the planes, the FBI said, don’t have high-definition cameras and rely on binoculars.

The planes were used only five times to track cellphones from the sky, according to the FBI.