Air Force One experiencing ‘rampant thievery’ from White House reporters traveling with president: Politico

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Politico reported this week that petty thefts are occurring on Air Force One, as many White House correspondents often try to steal souvenirs from the presidential plane.

This piece was published in the Thursday edition Politico’s “West Wing Playbook”” details how reporters who travel with the president often take items off planes, and many of them acquire presidential memorabilia to show off to friends and colleagues. He says it’s for the purpose of doing so.

“Over the years, many journalists and other journalists have bought everything from engraved whiskey tumblers to wine glasses to just about anything bearing the Air Force One insignia before stepping off a plane. “I’ve been quietly packing everything into my bag,” the article says. It is practiced as “rampant theft.”

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Politico recently detailed how the White House press corps aboard Air Force One frequently had items stolen from the plane. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

The article reveals that the practice has become “alarmingly common,” with NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, emailing members of the WH press corps to explain the practice. He even told them to stop.

Several members of the WHCA confirmed to the press that this off-the-record email was genuine.

One reporter told Politico that another White House correspondent encouraged him to take the object with him during the famous aircraft’s first flight, adding, “On my first flight, the person next to me said, “Hold that glass.” You should do it,”’ he said. They were like, “Everyone’s doing it.”

The paper said “stories have spilled out” from former and current White House reporters asked about the theft. One person said the theft was not limited to reporters, with members of Congress traveling with the commander in chief also having items removed from the plane.

“There’s a story about a senator who was at the front of the plane, a talkative aide told reporters, and he took everything that wasn’t bolted down.”

“Several colleagues of a former White House correspondent at a major newspaper said he hosted a dinner party where all the food was served on gold-rimmed Air Force One plates.” Politico also wrote: .

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Air Force One lands at Joint Base Andrews. (National Geographic/Renegade Pictures) (JBD Public Relations)

The reporters added, “After returning to Joint Base Andrews in the evening, I recalled coming down the back stairs to the sound of glassware and porcelain dishes clanging inside my backpack.”

But it appears the Air Force One crew is now keeping an eye out for missing items. Politico said O’Donnell’s warning came after the crew “inventoryed items after the trip and notified the White House Travel Office on February 5 that several people were missing from the press room.” Stated.

Former news director Bree Moore then emailed the news station to address the missing items and offered a way for those who had items from the plane to “return peacefully,” the reporter said. one person admitted.

“The person who received the email actually got off the plane with an embroidered Air Force One pillowcase, which probably wasn’t a coincidence. When they sent a reply acknowledging that, they carefully returned home. Arrangements were made to do so,” Politico wrote.

White House officials said they did not intend to embarrass reporters, but stressed after speaking with reporters that “the theft needs to stop,” the article said. One former White House official clarified that the incident “didn’t amount to a major theft. It was just a small, chronic complaint.” Still, he added, he’s “grateful that Kelly O took it seriously and sent the note.”

FOX News Digital has reached out to the White House for comment and NBC News for comment about Kelly O’Donnell.