FACT CHECK: Did Trump Fly US Soldiers Back From Operation Desert Storm On His Airline?
A viral Facebook post claims President Donald Trump volunteered his airline Tower Air to bring American soldiers home from Operation Desert Storm.
Trump was never the owner of Tower Air. His airline, Trump Shuttle, operated flights between New York, Boston and Washington D.C. from 1989 to 1992.
The post, allegedly written by a male soldier, describes that he and other American service members had to wait four days in 1991 for buses to take them to the airport, where there was a shortage of planes meant to take them home to the U.S. The owner of Tower Air offered his planes to bring the troops home from Saudi Arabia, the post claims.
“That Private was me, Ron Knouse,” claims the post. “The owner of Tower Air was – Donald J. Trump.” (RELATED: Has Trump Been ‘Very Strict’ On Commercial Aviation?)
Yet, while Tower Air did charter overseas passenger and cargo flights for the Department of Defense in the 90s, the airline was never owned by Trump. Tower Air was founded by Morris Nachtomi, Zev Melamid, Mordechi Gill and Sam Fondlier, according to Airline History records. It ceased operations in 2002.
John Chanda, the former director of technical services for Tower Air, told the Daily Caller in a phone interview that Trump never came up in any of his business conversations with Nachtomi.
Trump did operate an airline from 1989 to 1992, but it was called Trump Shuttle. It operated flights to New York, Boston and Washington D.C., Business Insider reported. Some of his planes did transport military personnel domestically but, according to the Washington Post, the U.S military arranged the charters.
The story has circulated online since at least 2016.