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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Airmen posing with Trump broke no rules, MacDill officials say

The Donald Trump campaign tweeted photos of the candidate during a chance encounter Nov. 5 at Tampa International Airport. Military members are prohibited by Defense Department rules from attending campaign events in uniform. An investigation cleared the airmen.

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The Donald Trump campaign tweeted photos of the candidate during a chance encounter Nov. 5 at Tampa International Airport. Military members are prohibited by Defense Department rules from attending campaign events in uniform. An investigation cleared the airmen.

29

November

Airmen from MacDill Air Force Base who posed for pictures with Donald Trump during a campaign visit to Tampa broke no rules, according to Air Force officials.

Just days before the election, Trump was visiting Tampa and his campaign plane was on the runway at Tampa International Airport when he made an impromptu appearance with about two dozen uniformed airmen, most from the 927th Air Refueling Wing.

As the meeting unfolded, Trump's social media director tweeted a video of the candidate greeting the airmen outside his campaign plane.

"We are at Tampa International Airport & some heroes wanted to say hello to @realDonaldTrump. #AmericaFirst #TrumpTrain #MAGA," Trump social media director Dan Scavino Jr. wrote in the tweet, which was retweeted more than 3,300 times and "liked" more than 5,400 times.

After the pictures and video appeared on social media, commanders at MacDill investigated the incident because military personnel are not allowed to appear at campaign events while in uniform.

The investigation, however, found they violated no rules, said Capt. Joe Simms, a spokesman for the wing.

The airmen were at Tampa International because crews from MacDill have been moved for a runway resurfacing project. The base is home to 16 KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling jets and three C-37 twin-engine jet transport planes.

The resurfacing portion of the $8.1 million repair job has been completed, base officials say, and now workers are waiting for the asphalt to cure before grooving and painting can be completed. The project is on pace to be completed by the original Dec. 20 deadline.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 2:07pm]

    

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