The Marines Just Fact-Checked The Hill For Suggesting They're Providing Political Stunts At Trump's Rallies

Brittany M. Hughes | October 29, 2020
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The U.S. Marine Corps just fact-checked The Hill for its misleading headline that suggested they’d done something unethical in using Marine One to “hover” over a crowd of Trump supporters in Florida last week.

The Hill honed in on a video shared by James Woods and retweeted by President Donald Trump showing Marine One over a massive crowd of his supporters, compared with a video of Biden walking down the steps to a much smaller crowd of socially-distanced fans.

And that was apparently all it took for The Hill to suggest Marine One, a main source of aerial transportation for any president, was being used in a political - and unethical - manner.

“Trump campaign event use of Marine Corps helicopter to hover over crowd of supporters raises ethics questions,” tweeted The Hill, along with a link to their article that questioned “the ethics of using the military aircraft for such purposes” as flying a sitting president into his campaign rallies.

"The video showed the helicopter hovering low over the campaign event attendees, who stood closely together and cheered and waved as the Creedence Clearwater Revival song ‘Fortunate Son’ played. It was not clear from the video if the helicopter was landing or hovered for a period of time before moving on,” The Hill wrote, suggesting that Marine One may have been instructed to linger over the crowd as a political show prop rather than simply a way to transport the president into and out of the event.

But when it comes to questions over their ethics, the Marines weren't going to let that one slide – and quickly cleared up this “controversy” in one tweet.

"The flight did not fly over (or hover over) the assembled crowd. The entire flight was conducted in accordance with U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps regulations, operating procedures, and safety protocols. Marine One landed a safe distance from the crowd,” The Marine Corps tweeted from their official Twitter account Thursday.

Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Joseph Butterfield explained in the video, Marine One was transporting Trump from the nearby Ocala International Airport and never even flew over the crowd, much less as a political stunt.