McCaskill admits to using private plane for part of RV tour - KCTV5 News

McCaskill admits to using private plane for part of RV tour

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is facing a tough reelection bid in her home state, admitted she used a private plane during parts of her RV tour of Missouri on Tuesday.

The admission came after a report in the conservative Washington Free Beacon, which reported that the movements of McCaskill's private jet had closely tracked with certain legs of her three-day RV tour to promote veterans' issues. Her campaign used a liveblog to track the tour and invited Missourians who saw the RV on the road to tweet with the hashtag "#bigblue."

McCaskill on Tuesday called the Free Beacon report "not accurate" and dismissed the notion that she was trying to hide the use of the plane.

"The plane picked me up at the end of one day after I spent all day on the RV and it took me to my overnight location," she told CNN. "And the next day we used the plane to add a stop. But I was on the RV totally -- two of the three days I was out."

She continued: "Anybody could have followed me ... they could have seen me when I got off the RV and when I got on the airplane ....there was no effort to hide anything."

McCaskill's use of a private jet has been a political issue for her in the past. CNN reported in 2011 she failed to pay nearly $300,000 in personal property taxes owed over the last four years for the partial ownership she and her husband had in a private plane.

At the time, McCaskill described the failure to pay taxes as unintentional and said she would sell the plane.

Her challenger for the Senate bid, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, criticized McCaskill for using the jet and referencing her prior issues, tweeting Tuesday, "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 #MOSen"

McCaskill's use of a private jet has been a political issue for her in the past. CNN reported in 2011 she failed to pay nearly $300,000 in personal property taxes owed over the last four years for the partial ownership she and her husband had in a private plane.

At the time, McCaskill described the failure to pay taxes as unintentional and said she would sell the plane.

A campaign aide confirmed to CNN that the plane used during the tour is different from the one McCaskill had in 2011.

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