Vice President Mike Pence attended an Indianapolis Colts game earlier this month, and then quickly left the game in protest after some players kneeled during the national anthem.
Now, some House Democrats are demanding that Pence reimburse the Treasury for the money it cost him to make that trip, which some dismissed as nothing more than a political stunt.
'Costly publicity stunt'
A letter, signed by Ruben Gallego, Ted Lieu, Pramila Jayapal, Jamie Raskin and Brendan Boyle, can be read here.
"We are writing in response to your office’s use of taxpayer funding to orchestrate a costly publicity stunt at a National Football League (NFL) game on October 8th, an act which was then employed by the Trump-Pence reelection campaign for the purpose of soliciting donations. Given the inappropriate nature of this conduct, we strongly urge you to instruct your campaign to reimburse the Treasury for the full cost of your travel and expenses that day."
"Flying across the country and back at taxpayer expense simply to enter and then immediately depart a football stadium serves no discernible public interest."
"Again, given the appearance of serious impropriety in this matter, we request that you instruct the Trump-Pence campaign to immediately reimburse the Treasury for the full cost of your wasteful, unnecessary trip to Indianapolis."
One estimate has the cost of the trip as approximately $242,500.
How the event played out
Pence tweeted that he was at the game, accompanied by a photo that was from 2014.
Looking forward to cheering for our @Colts & honoring the great career of #18 Peyton Manning at @LucasOilStadium to… https://t.co/symhJIske8— Vice President Mike Pence (@Vice President Mike Pence)1507476467.0
He left shortly after, with a statement about his reasons.
I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.— Vice President Mike Pence (@Vice President Mike Pence)1507482483.0
Later, the president tweeted that Pence left the game at his request.
I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1507486576.0