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MO-Sen: McCaskill admits using her private plane on campaign RV tour through the state

Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is on the defensive after admitting to using her private plane during what was supposed to be an RV campaign tour through her home state last month. (Image source: YouTube screencap)

Democrat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill admitted on Tuesday that she used her million-dollar private plane during a three-day campaign RV tour in Missouri last month, after The Washington Free Beacon reported the plane's route following and stopping throughout her destination path.

She did what?

In promoting her "Veterans for Claire" tour, Sen. McCaskill tweeted out a picture of her campaign's RV, saying she was "Very excited to hit the road next week in this. Names anyone for the RV?..."


The senator posted again with a picture of her in a group in front of the RV dubbed "Big Blue," saying, "We're back on the road for Day 3..."

On June 1, McCaskill tweeted another picture of the RV, making a plea for donations in her post: "Speaking of BigBlue...gas money anyone?"

But The Beacon pointed out that while McCaskill had previously requested that the Federal Aviation Administration block the plane's tracking, private websites like ADS-B Exchange are able to access unfiltered flight data — which is how the route of the senator's plane was confirmed. The tracking also showed that the plane was utilized between campaign stops.

While it has not been confirmed how much time McCaskill spent on the plane, she insisted to Politico that she "spent two-plus days on the RV," and that her plane "picked (her) up at the end of one day, after (she) spent all day on the RV."

McCaskill also admitted, "I added some stops with the use of the plane, but I was on the RV so much that the broken drawer drove me crazy. I even lost an iPad around a corner on the RV. She said the plane's tracking path reported by The Beacon was "not accurate."

Denying that she tried to hide the use of her plane on the RV tour, McCaskill said, "Anybody could have followed me. They could have seen when I got off the RV and when I went and got on the airplane."

Why does this seem familiar?

In 2011, the senator reimbursed the U.S. government over $88,000 after she took heat for using funds from her Senate office budget to take private flights on a plane she co-owned in partnership with her husband others.

Following that controversy, McCaskill said to reporters: "I have convinced my husband to sell the damn plane. I will never set foot on it again."

Campaign filings show that McCaskill has used her own private funds to pay for her private campaign flights during this election.

But her assumed Republican challenger, Missouri's attorney general Josh Hawley, took to Twitter to bring light to the episode brought on by her current plane (which replaced the one she used in 2011).

Hawley tweeted, "@clairecmc's definition of being "the hardest working Democrat in the Party." Skipping out on her luxury RV to fly in her luxury jet. It must be good to be rich and liberal. #MOSen"

He later added, "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."

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